Have you ever had that feeling that you just aren't clever enough, qualified enough, experienced enough or generally good enough to deserve the job or position you hold? Many people feel they are faking a show of confidence or expertise that they just don't have. It is extremely common. It is known as "imposter syndrome" and can affect men and women of all ages. However, many people with imposter syndrome don't recognise it in themselves as they genuinely believe they are a fraud.
The irony is that imposter syndrome is typically associated with high-achievers. Therefore, you are most likely far more capable than you believe. Real fraudsters don't stress over getting things right all the time!
So, how can you tell if you have imposter syndrome (otherwise known as impostorism, imposter phenomenon and fraud syndrome)? Take a look at the list of symptoms below and ask yourself if you recognise any of these thoughts, feelings or behaviours.
Feelings of Inadequacy and Self-Doubt
You might have a constant feeling of self-doubt and lack self-confidence, no matter how well-qualified you are or how much experience you have. You are always waiting for someone to ask you to do something that you fear you will be unable to do. You might wonder who will pay you for your products or services or feel that you will be judged or laughed at when you put yourself out there and ask for money. Maybe you feel as though you will be "found out" and exposed as a fraud. You might look at others around you and believe that they are so much more qualified, experienced or talented and this holds you back from even marketing your own business.
Always the Perfectionist
You believe that you must do everything perfectly or not at all. Maybe you set yourself extremely high standards and then beat yourself up when you fail to reach them. Do you find that you are never satisfied with your achievements, preferring to focus on any mistakes you believe you made? Perfectionism can be extremely tiring, depressing and time-consuming and is a common trait of those suffering from imposter syndrome.
Refusing to Own Your Success
You always play down your successes and find it hard when others compliment or congratulate you. Do you find yourself using phrases, such as, "It was nothing," or "Anyone could have done it" or, "I just got lucky"? You might even feel awkward or guilty about success and can even fear it as it puts the spotlight on you and might make you worry even more about being exposed as a fraud. Many people tell me that they don't believe people when they tell them what a great job they've done. They think they're just being kind.
Feeling Dissatisfied and Frustrated
You may have a feeling, deep down, that you could do so much better but your self-doubt prevents you from pushing yourself forward. Therefore, you feel stuck running a small business or even staying in your secure 9 to 5 job and making very little money. You may see others who are not even doing such a good job but making a fortune for slapdash work and you know you could do a much better job. Yet, something holds you back all the time. This frustration often spills over into other areas of your life and can affect relationships and your general health.
Are you ready to do something about it?
If you can relate to any of the above, please come and book your free strategy session and I'll explain how we can work together to help you develop that inner confidence, step into your power and leave those feelings of doubt and anxiety behind so you can finally start realising your dreams.