Imposter syndrome: Loosely defined as….‘doubting your abilities


Imposter syndrome – On the search engine DuckDuckGo, imposter syndrome is loosely defined as….‘doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud or phoney’.

It disproportionately affects high-achieving people. And whilst I’m not sure about the latter, I do feel like others can do the job better than me. Even though rationally I know I don’t give myself enough credit or praise, it’s sometimes hard to stop myself from hiding away and doubting my ability.

I struggle to raise myself up and climb above the branches, to actually see the wood for the trees.

I feel that despite external evidence of my competence, I still feel like I experience imposter syndrome a whole lot more than I’d like.

The signs and symptoms of imposter syndrome can vary from person to person, but they may include:

●    Extreme lack of self confidence

●    Constant comparison to other people

●    Anxiety

●    Self doubt

●    Negative self-talk

What can you do to overcome imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is incredibly personal and we all have different ways to overcome or quieten that internal dialogue.

1)   Acknowledge it.

Personally I’ve found the first step to overcoming imposter syndrome is to acknowledge that you are experiencing it.

It is important to remember that you are not alone and that many people feel this way at some stage of their lives, and everyone deals with it in different ways.

2)   Focus on your strengths.

Once I’ve reminded myself that I’m not alone, I like to focus on my strengths. When I get those feelings of self-doubt, I think of my strengths and write them down in a Gratitude Journal.

You could do the same. Make a list of your strengths and accomplishments. This can help you to see that you are capable and deserving of success.

3)   Find people that you can share your experiences and emotions with.

I’ve found a group of people called The Directors’ Hub which gives me a safe place to talk and breathe with other people going through similar experiences in some form or fashion. Here I can acknowledge my feelings and not feel like a phoney.

Finding people that you feel safe and comfortable with is important as bottling up those feelings is not healthy.

Our lives are always so busy that sometimes it is hard to just stop, think and believe. Acknowledging our emotions, focusing on reframing the narrative and having a safe space to share what you are feeling are great first steps in quieting that voice of imposter syndrome.

Because at the end of the day, you do not need awards, or others giving you praise.

You should be able to say.. I am worth it, I am great, I can do it.

I know I’ll get there one day…

Written by Sonny Cutting for the Entrepreneurs’ Blog


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