Image by Braydon A
As cute as old Fido is here with his disguise, there's actually nothing cute about feeling like you don't belong or you're not good enough to be carrying out a certain role, especially within a work place environment. The deep insecurity wrapped in fear that you're going to be found out at any given moment can cause huge amounts of anxiety and stress, not to mention missed opportunities and crippling self doubt.
Surprisingly, it’s a lot more common than you think! Recent studies indicate that a staggering 70% of people have experienced this phenomenon, with women and minority groups reportedly struggling with this most.
The real irony being that it bares absolutely no reflection on your actual capabilities, more so on the belief that somehow you've convinced other people you're more qualified than you are or or that your successes and abilities are merely flukes and it's only a matter of time before eveyone finds out.... the horror!
As relatable as this feeling is, it drives me a little crazy just thinking about these incredibly talented and highly capable women, walking around worrying they're not good enough to be serving in roles that they are more than qualified for, just waiting to be "found out"
Whilst we could dive into the fascinating "whys" of this feeling, as a coach my focus is very much on the "how to move through and forward". It's all well and good knowing why we feel insecure and unconfident in our abilities, but it's knowing how to move beyond this feeling that will ultimately give you tools to manage it when imposter syndrome strikes.
So, how do you fix it?!
Here are my 5 go to methods for combatting imposter syndrome, that you can use whenever that pesky feeling of not belonging starts creeping in.
1. Remember - Everyone feels this way at some point in their life
Image by Sam McNamera
It is, bizarrely, a very common feeling and even the most successful people in the world can recount endless occasions in which they experienced imposter syndrome. Don't believe me?! Google it!! A quick search brings up a whole host of hugely talented women from Lady Gaga to Maya Angelou to Michelle Obama, all relating to that awful feeling of "not being enough" or the feeling of dread whilst in anticaption of being "found out"
Imagine being as celebrated and talented as either one of these exceptional women and still feeling as though you weren't good enough?!
Moral of the story - you're far from alone! And feeling unworthy bares absolutely no reflection on your gifts or abilities.
2. Reframe your thoughts & find evidence of your accomplishments
Image by Madison Compton
Take some time to reflect on all of your accomplishments, wins & experience acquired so far.
I'm not kidding, right now! Grab a pen and paper (I'm old school, not sorry!) and write down every single obstacle you've overcome, every single course or qualification you invested in and all the time you've spent working towards where you're currently at. Do this until you can't think of anything else and you run out of examples.
It doesn't actually matter how much you write, I bet you a cup a coffee that by the time you're half way through, you've already written down way more than you've ever given yourself credit for.
Imposter syndrome will look for ALL the reasons as to WHY you don’t belong, or why you’re not “good enough” so this is the time to reframe your thoughts and focus on all that you have already achieved and all that you have to offer.
3. Cultivate self compassion (& give yourself a break!)
Image by Rafael Sanfilippo
You have the capacity to create magic & you have so much to offer the world. The fact that you're worried about not being good enough, whilst unnecessary, is a pretty good indication that you care. And that you want to do a good job and be worthy of that role.
But I'm here to say that you can simultaneously care about doing a good job whilst also valuing and acknowledging that you have the skill set to do so. Focus on progress over perfection and celebrate all of your wins along the way.
Be gentle with yourself on your journey and take the time to show yourself the same love & understanding you would a friend.
4. Fill in the gaps…Confidence comes with experience
Image by Dushawn Jovic
Ok, so maybe you're thinking "Yeah, but I cant do X" Insert whatever X is for you...
Then that's ok! You don't have to have all the answers and all the know how (FYI no one does) in order to be capable and worthy.
Confidence comes with competence, so ask yourself this - Is there a particular gap in my knowledge or experience that is causing me some feelings of insecurity?
If so... Great!
Awareness brings options. Be proactive and fill the gaps that you feel might be missing. This isn't about overloading yourself with extra curricular online courses so that you finally feel validated or "good enough". Rather, it's an opportunity to be honest with yourself and develop the tools you need to give you confidence in areas that might currently feel like a blind spot.
5. Seek support from friends, family or mentors
A little perspective can go a long way!
Do you ever get in your head about something and the more you overthink it the bigger the problem feels? And the moment you share it with someone you love and trust you immediately realise how ridiculous the worry was?! Or at the very least, you just feel lighter and the problem feels smaller?
As much as we like to think we know oursleves, we are often not always the best judge of our own character. And if you suffer with imposter syndrome, theres a really good chance that applies to you even more so!
So if after trying out steps 1- 4 you're still struggling to come to terms with how absolutely, beyond worthy and capable you are - Reach out to someone you trust, who knows you well, to share your feelings with.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback & support and maybe don't be too surprised if they say they struggle with the exact same thing!
I really hope you found this article helpful and you feel more equipped to deal with imposter syndrome the next time it strikes!!
If you want to take your personal growth to the next level, just click the link below and book your 1:1 coaching session with me!
You can also download my free workbook "10 Ways To Become Empowered Today" here