Do you ever feel like you have a secret that no one else can ever find out about? Do you feel like you would lose credibility if anyone found out about your secret? I know that I do sometimes.
There are certain traumatic events in life that can cause a person to feel a sensation of guilt and fear combined, but there is one event that historically has made people feel these feelings, and it is not often talked about. This event is, in one word, success. Imposter syndrome is a feeling that hundreds of successful people have admitted to feeling. It is a feeling of impending doom due to their success. They feel like, somehow, they do not deserve the success that they have attained in life. They feel like they have fooled the world into thinking that they are special, but, in reality, they are not. They feel like their life is a lie; that one of these days someone is going to figure them out and blow their cover. This feeling can be crippling to some. And by “some”, I include myself as well.
So let’s talk about it…
Who Suffers from Imposter Syndrome?
Anyone can. Yes, you read that right, anyone can suffer from this syndrome. It’s crazy how we’ve been told to “fake it until we make it”, but how do we do that without feeling like we are impersonating someone else? Someone not you?
This syndrome can also be found in people who may not have gotten sufficient assurance from their family in the past; they may feel like the negative beliefs that others have about them are true. Did you grow up with role models of success? Did the people in your life believe that you would be successful? Did you believe them? Regardless of why you may suffer from this syndrome, you need to know that you are not alone.
Imposter syndrome will have you thinking that you cannot be successful. That you can’t launch that business, or that you can’t claim that title because then people will know that you have been “faking it until you make it.”
But don’t worry because here are some things to remember:
#1 You are Truly Great
Even though you may suffer from this syndrome, there is really no way that you could have tricked the world into thinking you were great at what you do without it really being true. Unless you are the world’s greatest con artist, you truly are unique, and you stand out in your profession, or you would not be successful. Give yourself credit for the hard work and tenacity that got you to the place where you are at today. You are enough. You are talented. You deserve the success that you have or will have.
#2 Continue To Grow in Your Knowledge
Even though your talent and tenacity got you the success that you have today, continue growing. If you do feel like an imposter, a deeper knowledge of your field or more skills in your area of expertise will give you even more assurance that you truly are great. The more that you know, the more qualified you will truly be.
#3 The Great “Fake It ’til You Make It”
If you feel like you are an imposter, you must know that it is just a psychological trick that your insecurity is playing on you. Since your innate feeling is not real, then you have the power to psych yourself out. What does that mean? It means that you have to pretend to be a confident and successful person. Even if you feel like you are a farce and that you are lying to yourself, make it real. Your brain works in wonderful ways, and this trick will help your brain to get on board with reality. Tell yourself that you are successful and that you deserve all the success that you have. Even if you have to make a daily mantra, tape it to your mirror and repeat it every day until you believe it. Psych your brain out, and you will be able to keep negative feelings about your self worth at bay.
#4 It’s ok to get help
Not all individuals who suffer from this syndrome will be able to conquer it on their own. If you have suffered from childhood trauma, or if you have underlying mental health concerns, it is best to seek out the help of a professional. A professional can give you helpful talk therapy, inspiration, or even medication if needed. Professionals are wonderful, and they can keep you on your path to success.
Final Thoughts: You Truly do Rock
Even when you feel like you are less than worthy, there is something that you need to know about yourself: you are amazing.
Do you realize how unique you are?
There is no one on this planet who will ever have the same fingerprints. There is no one who will even have your exact eye color. In reality, you are amazing. Success is your birthright. It is something that most people can achieve, but only a few have the determination to reach out for it.
The fact that you have fame, power, money, or influence does not make you a success, you are a success because you are you. Never let anyone doubt your worth; you should never doubt your worth. When you realize your value, you will understand that you deserve all of the success that life has given you. You are not an imposter, you were born to be great.
So here’s to “faking it ’til we make it”! And kicking the Syndromes butt and letting it know who’s boss. One last quick tip I got from a coach, “give it a name (the imposter syndrome). Like literally name it so you can call it out when it happens.” And that’s the best tip I’ve heard in a while!
So, I see you Francis and YOU ARE WRONG! I’m no imposter.