The Imposter, talking to the Professional.

How to overcome Imposter Syndrome, when you are too busy hiding your secrets. The secret you were just lucky and not good at all. That you are good at misleading people and actually anxiously waiting to be discovered. It causes stress, it makes you work harder to delay the moment of disgrace and corporations love you dearly. You are an asset as you are reliable and extremely hard-working. And sadly, the moment where everything falls apart is not caused by the discovery of your secret, it is caused by your high stress levels and burn-out.

Monica had an exciting job. She was the head of the events team of a big multinational and responsible for – guess what – the events. She loved it and she was very, very good at it. The job was a goods mixture of strategy and implementation and it was right up her street. You could say, she was a natural. Born to do this.

There was just a mini minor thing that bugged Monica. It was that she actually thought she didn’t do a good job. She was very doubtful and insecure. And it gave her a lot of anxiety, sleepless nights and a constant churn in her stomach.

Monica suffered from imposter syndrome. An Imposter diminishes the outcomes of their actions and reduces the input and influence they had on it. They also have that black and white thinking that everything they do need to be perfect. Where non-imposters understand that you can’t be perfect at everything and that making a mistake is all right.

Imposter syndrome and how to overcome? About 70% of people have experienced imposter syndrome.

It impacts on different levels: it zaps energy, takes away joy and happiness, introduces stress and anxiety.

Monica started to talk about her feelings with some girlfriends and discovered that most of them totally understood what she was going on about. But it actually didn’t help. It was good to know she wasn’t the only one who felt like it, but it didn’t change anything.

It is a bit like talking about being fat – does it make you feel less fat? Does it make you literally less fat? No, it just makes you feel less alone.

The only way to take control of the Imposter Syndrome is through changing your thinking process (Valerie Young – The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women) and train yourself to think like a non-imposter. Refraiming means looking at a situation by taking a different perspective. For the imposter, it means taking the perspective of success rather than the perspective of failure or ‘not good enough’. And trusting other people’s feedback, instead of disrespecting them: ‘They are so stupid that they don’t even see how bad I am.’

How to reframe the conversation in your head

Imposter: ‘I had to give this last-minute presentation and I could have done a much better job if I had had more time.’

Non-Imposter: ‘I managed to pull it off and offer my audience information they found helpful’.

I: ‘They gave me this promotion because no one else was available.’

NI: ‘They offered me this job because I am suited for it.’

I: ‘OMG, I was lucky to get that article in the press.’

NI: ‘I know how to work the press to get the right results.’

I: ‘My boss said I did well, just because he doesn’t want to create a scene.’

NI: ‘My boss is a great manager and she knows it is important to give feedback. And I know I did a good job and it’s lovely to get it confirmed by someone who knows what she is talking about.’

I: ‘I made a mistake, I feel so ashamed. I am sure I am being found out now. Everyone will know how stupid I am.’

NI: ‘Not happy with my mistake, but hey, next time I won’t do it that way.’

Imposter syndrome how to overcome? Imposter Syndrome is the translation of a confidence issue and manifests in professional and personal situations.

In conclusion, If you feel like an imposter, try to reframe your thinking. If you struggle with that, you can book a free coaching call and discuss it with me. Not sure if you are? Take this test and find out.

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