Impostor syndrome… The struggle is real.
We all get it and it IS thing.
It’s that moment, when someone has asked or paid you to do something and you suddenly feel like you just aren’t qualified to do what’s being asked. You have the necessary skills, you know that you can do it, but you just have a horrible wave of ‘Who the hell am I to be doing this?’
We’ve all been there. Confession: I get this ALL the time! I probably had it just before I hit publish on this video. I certainly had it when I was blogging for Badminton Horse Trials yesterday and speaking on the radio!
When I’m writing for magazines and websites, or for my own blog, advising people how to run their businesses, telling people how much I charge, I very often get that niggle in the back of my mind, telling me I’m a fraud or that I’m not good enough.
In short, impostor syndrome, also known as fraud syndrome, is feeling like your an fake, when you’re not! And feeling that at any moment, somebody is going to out you to the world.
There are best selling novelists, high flying business owners, award winning actors and international popstars who ALL regularly suffer from impostor syndrome.
But here’s a news flash and a half for you… None of us know what we’re doing!! We’re ALL just winging it! And none of started out as experts!
So, what do we do about this? How do we knock impostor syndrome on the head, whenever it surfaces?
Recognise Your Wins
The best way to prove to yourself that actually, you’re doing ok, is to take a step back and look at all the positives in your career or business. What have you achieved? The important word in that previous sentence being ‘you’… Yes, YOU have achieved all of these things and it’s important that you give credit where it’s due. Whilst being your own biggest critic, it’s crucial that you are also able to be your own biggest cheerleader. Celebrate and hold dear all of your achievements, no matter how small, and go back over them when you’re feeling inadequate.
Admit Your Flaws
Impostor syndrome often comes from trying to portray an image of perfection, or utmost professionalism. But we are ALL human and we ALL make mistakes. If, as well as writing about your strengths, you also publicly admit your weaknesses, your bad days and the chapters you’d rather not read aloud, it humanises you and takes the pressure off, to be ‘perfect’. Nobody is perfect. And we are allowed to be wrong and make mistakes. Being wrong doesn’t make you a fraud!
Aswell as this, sharing your weaknesses and the mistakes you’ve made, is also another way to help others. Life is too short to make all the mistakes yourself, we need to learn from the mistakes of others, too.
Accept That Opportunities Came To You For a Reason
Have you been given a great opportunity? Do you now feel like you didn’t really earn it, because someone else brought that opportunity to you?
I’d be willing to bet that the entire reason they ‘gave’ you that opportunity was because you earned it!
Nothing comes to you that is not rightfully yours. And everything happens when it needs to happen. So, take opportunities, understand that they are result of your hard work and mindset, no matter how easily you felt they came to you, and be grateful for them. Don’t over think it!
Write Down Your Testimonials
When your clients email you to thank you, or when they say lovely things about you on social media, write it down. Publish it on your website, or just keep it in a file… It doesn’t matter whether you keep it privately or publicly, but use it when you’re feeling like a fraud, to remind yourself the value that you’re providing and why you need to keep on providing it.
Know That Everybody Deserves Success More Than You
We are all on this earth to live a life of happiness, success and abundance and our only limitations are ourselves. Nobody deserves success more or less than anybody else and when the question ‘Why do I deserve this?’ creeps in, counter it with ‘Why do I not deserve this? Why does ANYBODY deserve this?’
Look At Others You Admire
Is there a blog post you really enjoy reading? A book that has helped you beyond measure? Well, it’s very likely that the writer you look up to also suffers from impostor syndrome every now and then. And aren’t you glad they didn’t let it stop them? Aren’t you glad they weren’t selfish enough to keep their knowledge to themselves?
Think of the people that you might be helping with your knowledge or with whatever you’re offering, and be selfless enough to share it. Whether it’s 2 people or 2000 people that you’re helping. It’s worth it.
Recognise Impostor Syndrome for What It Is
So, even if you’d never heard of it before, now you know what it is. And next time these sneaky little doubts enter your mind, before you click publish on a blog post or tell someone your prices, recognise them for exactly what they are and push on regardless. Don’t let them win.
Have you ever suffered from imposter syndrome? How did you deal with it? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
See you next week for more FYI Friday!