Imposter Syndrome is defined as feeling a “fraud” or fearing that you are going to be found out.
It feels deeply shaming because at its root is a feeling of unworthiness, so we try to hide away from it.
When does Imposter Syndrome occur?
It tends to come up for us when there is a question mark around how we see ourselves and how we think we need to be in order to be successful. If there is a lack of congruence, we experience Imposter Syndrome.
I work with professionals who are making a career transition. They either want to leave their current career and switch to something new or step up into a key promotion.
When making any type of career change, we are leaving behind our old identity. If we are uncertain about our new identity, we start to feel like an imposter. This can really erode our self-confidence.
We can feel very isolated when we have Imposter Syndrome, as if we are the only ones to experience it. Yet statistics have shown that 70% of people will experience the symptoms of Imposter Syndrome at least once in their career.
We use many different coping mechanisms and protective behaviours to manage the anxiety of being found out and to avoid being found out.
What’s the cure for Imposter Syndrome?
The cure for Imposter Syndrome is to think differently about competence, criticism, failure and fear. We need to change our thinking before we can change our feelings. The feelings are the last thing to change. But we need to speak to ourselves differently to alter our thinking. The words we use with ourselves do matter.
How can I help you?
I work with you to spot the patterns around your Imposter Syndrome and to understand what it is costing you. Once we have shone a light on what you do, we then explore the incorrect assumptions behind your behaviours.
How do I work?
Let’s take the following example, a client says “Over-working has made me successful”.
What is the price you are paying for over-working?
What assumptions are you making about over-working?
What assumptions are you making about success?
How true are they?
Would you be unsuccessful if you didn’t over-work?
What results can you expect?
Once you have perspective, you have choice. You can stop living an Imposter life and instead have an Imposter moment that you can talk yourself down from.
Alex was a newly promoted Managing Director in an SME. She was an expert in the functional aspects of her role. But once she was promoted a form of Imposter Syndrome set in and she was crippled by a fear of being found out.
Alex felt that she had got her position by being lucky. She felt unsure about her identity and what kind of leader she wanted to be. She also felt she lacked the diplomacy skills to have difficult conversations and the ability to think on her feet.
I worked with her to successfully respond to the challenges of the new role and work out her identity. I helped her map out difficult conversations so she felt confident about her ability to successfully deal with the unexpected.
She gained clarity around the type of leader she wanted to be and her symptoms of Imposter Syndrome receded as she developed into a confident MD with a positive impact.
Call me on 0779 555 2986 or contact me to find out what I can do for you