Imposter Syndrome

Hi there all you Pink Fizzers!

 

Our amazing host Heather has invited me to write a blog on Imposter Syndrome – you may have heard the phrase, but do you know what it really is?

 

Firstly, do you experience Imposter Syndrome?

 

Do any of these types of thoughts sound familiar?

 

  •  Everyone else is better than me, what am I doing here?
  • Uh oh, they’re going to ask me something I don’t know and I’ll get found out…
  • Well yes, I did do that, but only because I was lucky/I had a great team

If so, then welcome to the human club – the majority of us will experience Imposter Syndrome at some point in our lives, some people more than others.

 

Our imposters are almost always based on fear of some kind…. Fear of rejection, of failure, of success, of looking stupid… name your fear!

 

And our fears are based on our unconscious beliefs, which we start to form from early childhood based on what we see & hear from our homes, our peers, our schools, society, life experiences etc.

Our beliefs then feed into the thoughts created by our brains, which feed into the Thought Cycle:

Newsflash: our thoughts are not real, they are stories made up by our brains, based on beliefs, experiences and perceptions!

You know this is true, because you live with the evidence – no 2 people have the same thoughts:

  • You’ve been to an event with a friend, and when catching up afterwards you have 2 totally different memories
  • You love a rom-com movie, your best mate loves a thriller
  • Your son loves tomato ketchup, you can’t stand the stuff…

You get the idea! None of these are based on fact, they are just based on each person’s beliefs and opinions.

Now imagine you’re going to a networking meeting and your thought cycle goes:

Thoughts: oh no, I’m rubbish at talking to new people, I’m going to end up on my own like a lemon
Impacting

Feelings: I’m so nervous, I feel sick
Influencing Behaviour: Hiding in a corner so nobody can see you, say a few words but not many incase you say something stupid
Affecting the Outcome: You don’t make any good new connections
Reinforcing the Thoughts: See, I told you you’re rubbish at talking to people, you did end up on your own

Now imagine you’re going to a networking meeting and your thought cycle goes:
Thoughts: I’m not very experienced at networking, but others probably feel the same as me, I can do it
Impacting

Feelings: I’m nervous, but nerves are normal and I won’t be the only one
Influencing Behaviour: Approach someone else on their own or in a small group, ask a great question, get chatting
Affecting the Outcome: Connected with several new people, had some interesting conversations, have a couple of follow up meetings booked
Reinforcing the Thoughts: I did it, it wasn’t that bad and it was worth the discomfort, next time will be much easier

The only difference between these 2 situations is the starting thought… which were based on different stories!

So we know our Imposter feeds us thoughts, to protect us from the fears we have based on our beliefs – which are not facts.

Now we get to consciously fight back against our Imposter and choose a different story!

Start by paying attention to your thoughts & notice next time you hold yourself back or avoid doing something. Then ask yourself

  1. What am I scared that might happen or not happen if I do this thing?
  2. What amazing thing might happen if I do this thing?
  3. What positive thought cycle would help me here? (if you can’t think of anything, phone a friend!)
  4. Act as if the positive thought cycle is your reality (you are already used to acting based on a story after all!)

Don’t get me wrong, this process is Simple but it isn’t Easy – but with commitment to yourself, and practice, it is very possible! I know, I’ve done it.

 

It’s unlikely you will never hear your Imposter again, but when you do you will have the power to fight back, and then take that uncomfortable action and change your life!

If you found this useful and would like more hints & tips on confidence, mindset, change and careers, join my free Facebook Group

 

And I’d love to connect, here are my links

 

LinkedIn:  Karen Birchmore
Facebook: Speak Up With Confidence
Mailing list: Sign Up! 

 

Good luck fighting your imposter!

 

Karen

Confidence & Careers coach, Clarity & Confidence

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