Ever felt like you do not belong and that at any moment your colleagues or friends will find you out and realise you are a fraud? You may look at other colleagues and judge them as confident in what they do, and you feel like you are battling to keep your head above water.
Commonly known as Imposter Syndrome, and it is estimated to affect as many as 70% of people at some point in their lives.
Do you believe you have got to where you are just by luck rather than by the skills you have? Then you are suffering from imposter syndrome.
There are five types of Imposter Syndrome, according to Dr Valerie Young, who is a recognised expert on Imposter Syndrome :
A perfectionist will rarely be satisfied with what they have done as they will always feel they could have done better.
The Superman / Superwoman:
The Superman or Superwoman pushes themselves and works harder than anyone else on the team to prove they are not an imposter.
The Natural Genius:
The Natural Genius is someone who usually does not have to try too hard as skills come naturally to them. When something takes a lot more effort, and they have to work harder at it than usual, they start to believe they are an imposter.
The Soloist, feels they have to achieve things on their own and if they have to ask for help, then they are an imposter.
The Expert needs to know all the fine detail of a project before even beginning it. They like to get as many qualifications and certifications as possible to improve their skills. They fear not knowing enough and being ‘found out’ as an imposter, so continually strive to improve their skillset.
If you find yourself suffering from imposter syndrome, then try and identify what your imposter type.
As well as that, it would be good if you can share how you feel with others to understand that what you are thinking and feeling is not based on reality.
Take small steps and build on them, not looking for perfection, but incremental learning.
Do not compare yourself to others as we all excel at different things, and we are all on our journeys. Try to embrace your journey and not compare it to anyone else's.
Be honest with yourself and look at all the things over the last year you either feel you have done well or others have remarked you have done an excellent job. Now list these down. Starting the recording of your evidence that you are not an imposter.
As time goes on, every time something goes well (no matter how small) or someone comments positively on your work, write it down and thank them. Building up your growing body of evidence that you are great at what you do. You may doubt yourself, but look at the evidence and see yourself in a different light.
This is an excerpt from my book: TAME YOUR INNER CRITIC, which is available on the links below:
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