As a follow up to my networking post, I received many comments from friends and followers not sure how to approach others fearing rejection or feeling that they might not be good enough, then it hit me that they might be suffering from the “Impostor syndrome”. I have experienced that feeling of being less than adequate from time to time especially when I was first building my business or when faced with a big project.
Questions like would I be able to pull it through? Would my team listen to me? Would my team like me? Would I be able to deliver on time and on budget? Do I have the necessary experience or knowledge to pull it through?
The “impostor” syndrome—or feelings of self-doubt or feeling like a fraud, feeling that you have somehow fooled everyone around all these years, that you have somehow succeeded to fake it till you made it, plagues more successful women than men, Impostor syndrome doesn’t mean that you are not self-confident; but could be your high sense of fear of failure or of success
Impostor syndrome if magnified is a self-sabotaging system where one feels not good enough, waiting for the other shoe to drop, or worrying so much about failure that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, it is a psychological phenomenon where one feels that they do not deserve success, that no matter what they achieved before was just pure luck that they were in the right place at the right time around the right people
Impostor syndrome is not necessarily a symptom of low self-confidence or low self-esteem it can also affect very highly successful people, and has nothing to do with how educated you are or how many certifications you hold; the roots of the syndrome might lie deep in our bringing, family dynamics and cultures
The solution to this problem is to start internalizing your achievements and start learning to appreciate yourself and your success and accomplishments.
You need to start empowering yourself by being grateful for what you accomplished, and where you are, by being positive, by snapping back that feeling even if you have to wear an elastic band on your wrist and snap it every time you start thinking that you are a fraud.
Learn to be assertive, you will never please everybody all times, learn to accept compliments, and learn to say NO in a positive way. Live your life the way you want to live, not based on anyone else’s expectations, learn that it is fine to be vulnerable that it is a beauty of the human soul and mind.
It is perfectly fine to stumble and fall as, long as we see it as just an obstacle that we will or have overcome. Life will never be pretty all the time, success will not be constant all the time, there will be ups and downs and we need to ride the wave no matter how tall it is and enjoy it like the surfers do.
We are not supposed to be Jack of all trades which translate to Master of none, we are not supposed to be experts in everything in life so asking for help every now and then is fine and is not a weakness or a flaw we need to take inventory of our strengths and our weaknesses and make sure that we fortify our strengths not spend a lot of time dwelling on our weaknesses
Impostor Syndrome can instill a deep sense of fear of failure, you get scared to speak up so you will not sound stupid, or so that people will not find out that you are fake.
We can turn the Impostor syndrome to work to our advantage I handle it that way, it is supposed to work in its positive manifestation as a survival mechanism so being anxious or fearful will render us sharper and more attentive to what we do, so we work harder at achieving our goals and dreams the way we want them to be achieved, and be grateful and satisfied with the results regardless of whatever anyone else thinks.
We need to own who we are and accept it internally and externally, do not wait for anyone’s to validate you, or a permission to be where you are.
Start writing everything down, I always do, I divide the page into two columns pros and cons and take it from there, writing organizes your thoughts and helps you make sense of your life, also looking at your accomplishments in black and white helps boost your self esteem
Half of the battle is recognizing what Impostor syndrome is and not deny its existence; so start thinking about Imposter syndrome and its effects, write worst case scenarios so anything achieved will be a success, practice goal settings, divide big goals to smaller ones and do not procrastinate recognize its symptoms and learn to nip them at the budd. We need to start feeling comfortable with uncomfortable feelings.
As a bonus these are few tricks to create positive thinking hat help overcome Impostor syndrome:
- Accept and own yourself totally and undeniably
- Practice a culture of internal gratitude and content
- Do not wait for others to validate you
- Give as much as you can: Volunteer and just give back
- Balance your professional and business lives
- Have an open mind, try new things
- Replace toxic thinking with positive ones with an attitude of I CAN rather than doubt
- Get rid of toxic people in your life that show you why you can’t make it rather than why you should make it
- Practice kindness to yourself to learn to be kind to others
- Believe that everything in your life starts and ends with YOU– You are the master of your destiny
Till we meet again,
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