HOW TO STOP FEELING LIKE A FAILURE & THRIVE!
Termed “Imposter Syndrome”, millions of women fear they’ll be exposed as inadequate. Emma reveals how you can acknowledge your own brilliance
Ihave treated countless amazing men and women who were convinced they were inadequate failures. It’s classic “imposter syndrome”, where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalised, fear of being exposed as a fraud. This can haunt your life unless you take action.
UNCOVER THE CAUSE
First, ask yourself what is shaking your confidence; is it a new challenge, a new boss, or are you feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities? Next, find someone neutral to confide in. Talking helps you gain some perspective and means you get some reassurance. Also make a list of all your accomplishments, these can be personal, such as “I have an amazing family who loves me because of who I am”, or professional achievements.
RECOGNISE YOUR SKILLS
Reflecting on how much you have created in your life will make it harder to think that everything happened by chance. That helps you to gain a sense of “personal agency,” which is a therapy term meaning that you happen to life as opposed to life happening to you. That realisation makes you feel in control and positive. Then set yourself some achievable goals – taking risks raises your confidence and helps you see that you have potential and people with loads of potential can’t possibly be frauds.
It’s also important to shift your mental language, by telling yourself things like “I find this easy not because I am winging it, but because I am naturally good at what I am doing”, or “My boss hasn’t given me extra work to prove I am useless, but because she believes in me and trusts that I will get it done”. This puts you in control and makes you feel like you are constantly achieving.
One thing I can assure you about imposter syndrome is that it only ever affects successful and capable people. That’s the irony. My understanding is that people use this fear as their motivation to consistently achieve. However, it is far better to accept that you are skilled, driven and great at what you do, because you deserve to enjoy your success.