Are you holding yourself back? Do you play small when you could step up? Does the little voice inside your head tell you that you're a fake and fraud, not good enough? And are you losing out because of it?
You could be experiencing the Imposter Syndrome.
What is the Imposter Syndrome?
The Imposter Syndrome is a totally distorted self-view.
Identified in the late 1970's, the syndrome impacts successful people.
In fact, 70% of people have experienced it. They deny their talents and
successes, believing them to be attributable to good luck or someone
else's mistakenly positive view of them.
Do you experience the Imposter Syndrome?
Is the Imposter Syndrome something you experience or have ever experienced?
7 out of 10 people have found themselves in its grips at some stage in their careers and lives. Find out by completing our questionnaire.
What triggers the 'not good enough' feeling?
Feeling like an imposter is not something that besets us constantly. We may go along feeling quite confident for the majority of the time. Then we are exposed to something that creates personal uncertainty – something which is unique to our background and life experiences. In that moment, we can transform from a confident individual to someone filled with self-doubt. When that happens, we commonly find it challenging to access our capabilities.
Download a checklist of triggers to start you thinking.
How does it play out for you?
The syndrome is accompanied by a feeling of fear and vulnerability driven by the belief that we are not good enough and others will see it. We reactively engage in behaviours to protect ourselves and restore a feeling of control.
If you want to understand how you protect yourself when you feel you're not good enough, read more.
What has it cost you?
What happens if I do nothing about the Imposter Syndrome?
The syndrome is a distorted self-view based on sensitivity around perceived inadequacies. It creates the feeling of not being good enough, which from objective results isn't true. However, this Syndrome is not logical; it's a tape we run unconsciously and which can catch us unawares, causing us to react in a way that commonly doesn't support us performing to our highest level. In our extensive experience, the sensitivity doesn't go away completely although the actual triggers may change over time. If we don't handle it, we are doomed to repeatedly experience the Syndrome to some degree when something unexpectedly creates personal uncertainty for us.
Life after the Imposter Syndrome
A question I've been asked many times after a presentation is "Do I ever stop feeling like an imposter?"
In short, the answer is "it depends".
I've been working in this area for more than five years now,
starting with identifying and addressing my own imposter issues and then
moving to help others do the same. I can tell you that the issues that
triggered an 'imposter' response at the beginning of this journey are no
longer even a blip on the radar. They don't bother me at all. I rarely
experience that feeling now, and when I do, I know what it is and can
move beyond it quickly.
Read more on the benefits of addressing the Imposter Syndrome
Ask yourself this ..
"Does feeling like an imposter get in the way of what you want to achieve in your life?"
Have you paid a high enough price yet? Would you like to move beyond it to see and accept your strengths & 'wobbly bits' and know you're not alone, to make your unique contribution and to experience both meaning and fulfillment from whatever you choose to do?
If so, click here to access the full range of our products and services to help you move beyond feeling like an imposter. Or call us for a conversation about where you are and what you need.
Would you like more information first?
How about you download with our compliments the first two chapters of Suzanne Mercier's book "Liberate Leadership. How the Imposter Syndome undermines leadership capability and what to do about it."
- Suzanne is a behavioural change consultant with a strong business and communications background.
- She has more than 25 years experience in marketing, advertising, business strategy, branding, employee engagement and development of human potential as critical success factors in business.
- As the first woman on the Board of George Patterson Advertising, Suzanne experienced the impact of the Imposter Syndrome and the limitations it brings. She left the corporate environment and set up her own business as a speaker, facilitator, trainer, coach and consultant helping organisations improve their performance.
Click here for Suzanne's full profile.
If you are interested in understanding how the Imposter Syndrome is a significant business issue, please click on the logo below.