Who Am I?
Have you ever sat at your computer screen and started to wonder if you were capable?
Started to wonder if you were good enough?
If you were a fraud?
The list of self-doubting questions can go on and on and on….
A very common trait of high achievers, dreamers and especially business owners is the feeling of imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you don’t deserve to be in the position you are in, or to have the clients you have. It is also, sadly, peppered with the feeling that everything is down to luck and not down to you and your hard work. It is incredibly debilitating and can cause severe feelings of anxiety and self-doubt within anyone.
There is also no clear-cut case of imposter syndrome. It is impacted by your personality, the way you are affected by outside variables and even down to how much sleep you have had the night before. In this case, if you feel any feelings of not deserving your success, you may have been suffering from imposter syndrome.
It is incredibly unfair (and unreasonable) that due to your successes you feel that you’re not worthy, especially after the many long nights, input and determination it has taken you to get to where you are. As a collective, we are incredibly good at looking at the negative in any situation but when did you last stop to look at how far you’ve come? You will probably be surprised (and should be proud) at what you have achieved!
This feeling makes it incredibly hard to reach out to you network and peers, as in essence, why should you be unhappy about how successful you are, won’t they think that you’re being ungrateful? But I encourage you to do this, as it’s a first step to beating this, to talk about how you are feeling. I know that I always feel better after a conversation over a cup of coffee and this is the first necessary step.
Don’t be afraid to talk about it!
Once you have broken the initial taboo around this feeling, I then urge you to stop and take stock of your achievements and reflect on what has happened. Set aside a time to sit and either write down or type what you have accomplished in the past 6 months or even a year and what you are grateful for. When you allow yourself to recognise your achievements, you also allow yourself to be proud of what you have achieved, and this is a wonderful second step towards overcoming the feeling of imposter syndrome.
Take a break, reflect upon and record your achievements!
A third step towards feeling like you deserve your success and to improve your self-worth is to recognise that we are only human (please keep reading and don’t roll your eyes! I promise I have a point). We are impacted by our culture, status and even gender and this has a serious effect on how we view ourselves, each other and even what we deem to be success. When you feel overwhelmed with feelings of fraudulent achievements and self-doubt, take a second to recognise that this is actually okay, and a very normal feeling or thought process.
It is then how you start to change your mentality and the way you think about these feelings that will make a positive impact.
Remember, we are all human and sometimes flawed (but we love you anyway).
If you want to read further into this subject, as there are different types of Imposter Syndrome that manifest themselves in different ways, here is a fab article that expands upon this idea;
I would really love to hear your experiences of this, and how you dealt with it and if you’d like to connect please feel free to send me an email!
Love Laura x