Focus on what you have built in your life, in your career, in your family
Impostor syndrome made me miss the enjoyment of building my tower. My achievements, successes, endless possibilities that were all part of the build along the way. Instead I looked down and focussed on two small imperfections at the foot of the tower.
Looking back now I see how insignificant my focus was. It was ok to not know. I was allowed to make mistakes. I was allowed to ask for help at the start of my journey and moving forwards.
How often do we do this?
Yesterday evening talking to Marina Conway-Gordon on her Facebook live about the whole issue of Impostor Syndrome. I realised how much time I afforded myself to focus on things I could not do better at back then.
Impostor syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Impostors‘ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. Men suffer it in equal numbers to us women, but they are too ashamed to talk about it.
Many high achievers share this dirty little secret: Deep down they feel like complete frauds–their accomplishments are simply the result of serendipitous luck.
My three main takeaways to shift Impostor Syndrome that I left the audience with were:
Change the script
Re-write it to say: “I’m allowed to not know everything, to ask questions and to make a mistake…” Rather than “They are going to find me out soon…”
Eg. That first day at work in a new job impostor syndrome is bound to show up with you if you don’t switch scripts. It’s ok to give everyone a title (Mr Jones) because the culture is unclear that first name terms are used. It’s ok to sit at the wrong seat in a meeting because protocol is unclear. Consider that those around you may actually embrace your mistakes because they get to see the human side of you. No one wants to work with a know it all.
Accentuate your successes
Capture that moment of gold when something went wrong, however, you saved the day and turned it around. I am sure there are many but as sufferers of impostor syndrome we will almost certainly have buried those moments deeply.
Dig out successes and let them work for you in that moment of doubt and darkness.
STOP thinking like an impostor
Get out of your own way! As a high achiever you cannot do mediocre because the impostor will know and call you out. Of course none of this is true. So you fight to climb to greater heights not acknowledging the existing height but more so the hard work and downs it took to get there. Shake yourself now. Call yourself out.
If your world is property/aspiring to be property and the view from your window is unclear – get in touch with me to see how a mentor can help.