I have seen a lot of articles and commentary of late on the subject of impostor syndrome and have been taking a look at it and thought that I would share some ideas around it.
If you have not come across the terms before let me firstly explain what it is! Do you ever find yourself feeling that you don’t really deserve credit for your achievements? You may have worked hard to achieve a goal in your life. You may be known as the “go to” person at work or away from work when achieving results matter. However, you have this deep rooted feeling of being a fake or impostor, and you find yourself constantly suffering the unrealistic fear that you will be “found out”, with dire consequences ensuing and your world will fall down around you?
This is what has come to be known as impostor or imposter syndrome and is also referred to as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome. The term was developed by psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. In their research they noticed that a significant number of high-achieving individuals would not give themselves credit for their achievements.
People who struggle with this have a persistent fear that one day they will be exposed to the world as a fraud, faker and impostor, when in almost every situation they worked for their achievements. If you find that you have a hard time giving yourself credit for the things you have achieved, then one or more of the following ideas may help you be more confident in your achievements.
Keep a Success File
Record every occasion where you helped someone succeed. Write down all of your successes, testimonials and achievements. Refer to them whenever you feel like a fraud.
Be Honest With Yourself
Sometimes spelling it out, calling your behaviour what it is, is all you need to get past it.
Failing Doesn’t Make You a Fake
The greatest achievements have come on the heels of failure. Failing or making a mistake does not make you a fraud or impostor.
You Have Something Important to Give to the World
When you feel like a fraud or impostor, you pull back and don’t try as hard. This is unfair to the world, which needs your unique presence and abilities.
Ask yourself this question. Do you want to lie on your deathbed, regretting things you did not do or attempt in your life? Believing that you are a fraud or fake can cause you to take less chances, which can lead to regret.
Someone once told me that the biggest challenge we face is that all of us at some point are simply trying to get through this thing called life, and at times we all find that we really don’t know what we’re doing. We just do our best and are always learning.