What the heck is imposter syndrome? When nearly seventy percent of people have suffered from it, it’s definitely not something to shrug off. At home, in the workplace and socially its impact isn’t limited to one facet of life. So let’s break it down, shall we?
What the heck is imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is when you are in the midst of people personally or professionally and you feel like a fraud. There is a feeling of not measuring up to those around you and that you could get called out on it regardless of your credentials, abilities and talents. Your success is due to luck, not the hard work, time and sacrifice you made.
These feelings can create a self propelled cycle evoking anxiety and self doubt. These thoughts can be brutal and it’s almost like you’re in a boxing ring where it’s you vs. you. In the final round, there’s no winner.
The hats it wears…
You may be in a meeting and have a desire to speak up, but the fear of being called out holds you back. As a parent, the voice of not being good enough or able enough beats you down daily. In a business transaction, anxiety may be through the roof out of concern they’ll see through your inadequacies.
These thoughts can stir and simmer. When seventy percent of people have struggled with some form of imposter syndrome, it’s significant. It’s making the transition from these stirring thoughts swirling around adding nothing positive to quality of life and learning how to gain control of them.
Reigning in the voice of the Imposter…
This isn’t about stomping out these thoughts with reckless abandonment. It’s a bit more in depth than that. The approach we take is important for our mindset. This requires a strategy, patience and a plan.
Breaking it down…
One of the most important components to facing this head on is our peer group. This applies to our social, personal and professional life. If we have people buzzing in our ears about our inadequacies and ‘lack of’ abilities it will fester doubt and reinforce our pre-existing misconceptions. Why do that to yourself? There is power in the presence of positive. I wrote an article a while back on the four ingredients for a healthy relationship four teens. The reality is, these ingredients pertain to adults as well. We must set the bar high, my friends.
When we have a healthy, positive ‘squad’ it makes a tremendous difference. This can take time, patience and persistence. But, it’s worth it. When we have healthy, positives in our life it’s then an opportunity to take a step to confide with a colleague or friend as to their feedback on your thoughts. When we hear that our thoughts are inaccurate and we are indeed valued and in good standing it has a role in altering our thought process. Positive is powerful.
Constructive or Destructive?
When thoughts arise it’s taking a step back and asking yourself, is this thought constructive or destructive? And what am I basing it on? Approaching our irrational thoughts head on disallows critical thoughts to simmer. When we take a step back and allow ourselves to ask, in question form, what information we are feeding ourselves and then what it is based upon this can very frequently sway our mindset.
It’s asking ourselves questions like, why am I fixating my time on something that is trivial when I could be focusing on an interest or something of substance? Or there’s, I will increase my time and attention on things that bring me joy and happiness. Having a strategy, being intentional will make a difference in mindset.
Check out one of Goodness Chick’s Podcast episodes on Imposter Syndrome focusing on not only identifying, but strategies in overcoming it.