According to Wikipedia, the impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.
Some ‘symptoms’ of Impostor Syndrome include:
Worrying that at any moment someone will ‘find you out’ and you’ll be fired or made to leave a group because you’re a fraud.
Believing that when people praise you, they’re just being nice or they feel they have to say good things about you.
Feeling that people with the same job title as you are more responsible or better at their job than you.
Not taking up new responsibilities, projects or stepping towards your dreams because you’ve already convinced yourself you’re unworthy or fail at everything.
Being unusually sensitive to constructive criticism.
5 Ways to Overcome the Impostor Syndrome
If any of these look familiar to you, use these 5 tips to build yourself up and own your magnificence:
1) Take out your CV and write down all the things you’ve achieved- qualifications, promotions, successful marketing strategies, helping students, etc.
2) Now imagine you have to write a ‘life CV’- what are you really proud of? Your children, your husband, your gardening skills, your sense of humor, trying to eat healthily…you are incredible, go for it.
3) Reserve a day or afternoon to yourself- switch your phone off and really treat yourself. Have a massage, go and try on dresses with no intention of buying them or have lunch alone in a beautiful restaurant. You deserve it and yes, you deserve all the good feelings that come with it.
4) For goodness sakes, let go of the need to compare yourself to other people. It’s a huge waste of energy. You are never going to be that person, and you are better and more fabulous as you. Just concentrate on being grateful that you’re so flipping fantastic.
5) Ask a close friend to write a list of 10 reasons they’re friends with you (and no, they’re not doing it just to be nice!)
If you’ve been nodding your head all the way through this article and you feel as if something has clicked, I’ll let you into a little secret. You are not alone. You are not alone in feeling like this- it is incredibly common. Many people know the feeling, but not many people share the feeling.
Use your fear and turn it into love. Love for yourself, love for others, love for your life. Love your Fear- you are worthy and truly deserving.