Raise your hand if you ever feel like you don’t belong for some reason. You’re not smart enough. You don’t work hard enough. You are just lucky and don’t deserve to be here.
This is called Imposter Syndrome. It is strikingly powerful and very real. I can recall a few instances in my life when I thought, “this was just luck; it has nothing to do with me.”
I watched a TED-Ed video recently about Imposter Syndrome and the closing line was, in my opinion, the most powerful and should become everyone’s mantra: “you have talent, you are capable, and you belong.”
As coaches, we work with clients to build confidence, to realize that life is what it is and it’s up to you to make it what you want it to be. Many times, the lack of confidence or self-doubt our clients experience is rooted in the Imposter Syndrome, frequently the result of their individual performance blocks.
Feeling like an imposter is real, but it can be quickly managed when you do the following two things:
- Check in on your abilities. Stop and notice three things that you are good at in whatever it is that is challenging you. With this awareness, you can negate the feeling of being an imposter when you see how capable you are.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. If you spend your life comparing, you will reach for things that are the gifts of others, causing you to look past your own gifts. The only thing you should ever compare is your current performance to your potential.
The next time you feel yourself questioning whether you’re worth it, or if you belong, Stop and Notice. Consider why you feel this way. Is it rooted in truth? Or is it your belief? You may find that one of the most frequent reasons why you feel like an imposter is because you’re comparing yourself to others.
If you have 15 minutes to spare, I strongly encourage you to watch the TEDtalk “Do you ever feel like you’re not enough?” It is a thought-provoking presentation that brings up things we encourage our clients to think about, as well. And when it’s done, Stop and Notice. What’s working in your life and where is change or improvement needed? Consider the actions you can take to make a change and choose one – just one – action you can start to implement to move toward your change.
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Still not convinced it’s not something everyone experiences? Check out this article by Beth Monaghan, CEO and Co-Founder of Inkhouse, an integrated PR firm, in which she shares her own experience with Imposter Syndrome.
Consider watching Being Uniquely You