How on earth is it possible that the highest achieving, most accomplished, go-getters end up suffering, thinking they’re frauds??!! It really doesn’t make sense.
We’ve all been there. Doubting ourselves, looking around, doing a spot check to make sure we aren’t going to get yanked from our rank and told we don’t belong. Particularly when we’ve moved into a new leadership role.
Research shows 70% of people suffer from imposter syndrome at some point in their life.
What are some of the common signs?
Over-preparing or working harder than necessary to “make sure” that nobody finds out you are a fraud;
Agonizing over the smallest mistakes or flaws in your work and feeling anxious;
Downplaying your talents and skills and attributing your success to external factors;
You feel like nothing you ever do is good enough;
Masking your feelings by participating in unhealthy behaviours like binge eating;
Seek approval from those in a position of authority.
You prefer to do things yourself, so you can hide the struggle.
What contributes to it?
It’s hard to determine one specific reason, it’s likely due to a variety of factors from a tendency for perfectionism, past experiences and the meaning placed on those experiences and your upbringing. Children who are praised for their grades instead of the process are more at risk.
As an adult that plays out by constantly seeking approval and praise for work which creates a perpetual cycle of doubt, chasing and anxiety.
What can you do about it?
It’s important to make the distinction between experiencing imposter syndrome and being plagued by it. We all have doubts and fears, particularly when it is something new. Once you get some runs on the board and start seeing results, it generally subsides and you are left feeling more confident in your abilities and spend less time worrying or doubting.
However, if you fall into the other category, it can be a real problem and one that needs addressing asap.
Having someone outside your network to support you and recalibrate your experiences and shift your perspective to help you see with clarity, through a new lens is vital.
Another way to start chipping away at it is to acknowledge the wins, however small you think they may be and remind yourself that being perfect is impossible and it would be INCREDIBLY boring!
Thank you Jayne for this article contribution. As you all are aware, clarity is number one value we have at Growth Gen. Imposter Syndrome is a real challenge for entrepreneurs and small businesses and hope that this article will give you some clarity to move forward if this is a challenge for you currently.
Go to https://jaynerobinsoncoach.com for more details about Jayne's work.