Imposter Syndrome: sources and solutions

You are not alone.

The secret fear that we’re not good enough, don’t know enough, could be better or even should be better is more common than we imagine.

It feels as if we are the only person affected but the phenomenon of feeling like an imposter is so common, it’s become known as “Imposter Syndrome”.

Have you ever been surprised by your own success?

If you are affected by Imposter Syndrome you probably try to keep a “low profile” and avoid putting yourself forward. When you can’t avoid the spotlight you over-prepare, invest enormous effort and, much to your surprise, once again demonstrate your expertise by pulling off a great job.

Sometimes it feels as if you teeter between breakdown and burnout. It’s exhausting! 

Does this sound familiar to you? 

For imposters, success often makes things feel worse!

As an imposter, we are our own worst critic.

We’re convinced others know more than us. We can see every flaw, feel every weakness in our own work. Part of us is astonished that we haven’t been found out.

We’re waiting for someone else to point out our error, the mistake, the thing we have overlooked but which should have been obvious. 

It feels as if time is running out.

People affected by Imposter Syndrome believe that they ought to know more than they do, should be better than they are, often feel they know less than their peers.

In truth we are usually very good at whatever we do and are well regarded by our colleagues – somehow we can’t quite believe it. There’s a constant nagging feeling that we’re really not good enough, we’ve just been lucky. We’re convinced others know our secret too. 

The sad thing is that for imposters, success increases the pressure – it simply makes things worse!

Are you an Imposter?

 People affected by Imposter Syndrome are usually good at what they do.

They often assume others know much more than them and easily dismiss or discount their own knowledge – “… because everyone knows this!”.

 

Surveys show that over 70% of people experience feeling the Imposter Syndrome at some time.

You may be affected by Imposter Syndrome if you feel:

  • your work is never good enough and could be better
  • you don’t really deserve this
  • people are just being kind to you
  • you’ve been really lucky up to now
  • you have a deep sense of “one day I’ll be found out”.

Feeling stretched or out of your comfort zone might be perfectly normal if you didn’t know how to do your job or were just starting out in a new line of work but imposters are usually way beyond that stage.

Imposter Syndrome can affect the young and the old, men and women, people in all roles and at all levels of responsibility and experience.

How do you move beyond Imposter syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome: Sources and Solutions

I’ve been running this workshop for many years so I know how to create a safe and secure space where you have time to think and to grow.

During the session I lead you gently through the science so that you understand:

  • the significance of your past experiences 
  • how to make new decisions as you go forward
  • how to create new patterns for your future thoughts and behaviours
  • you can stop sabotaging your own confidence 
  • proven strategies to increase your psychological resilience
  • a range of tools to look at your self and your life differently. 

 

We take the power away from your inner critic and return you safely into the driving seat.

The small group discussions create a supportive network where insights develop naturally and you will be keen to move forward, creating new patterns for your future thoughts and behaviours. 

Very interesting course and probably, long term, life-changing! Clare

Red hearts
Together we create a safe space for sharing stories and experiences. The openness creates an atmosphere of mutual support.

Brené Brown says “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, you cannot have both.“. As we work through our stories we realise that owning our challenges and admitting our struggles is what makes us human. The honesty of our struggle is exactly what makes us authentic and even inspiring. We find the courage to continue growing and be more open.

You will learn new skills and better habits.

In future:  

  • When you hear that voice of doubt you’ll be able to draw upon reserves of confidence and put your best self forward
  • When you feel the tight pang of anxiety you’ll know how to create a space of calm confidence
  • You will know how to silence the voice of the gremlin
  • You will end the day knowing how to move beyond your imposter feelings, knowing you are more than good enough
  • Perhaps for the first time in many years you’ll understand the value of the difference only you can make and you’ll look forward to making that contribution.

Will you come and join us?

Just wanted to let you know that this course was absolutely fantastic. Margaret is a superb course leader and it was without doubt the best day course I’ve ever been on. Thanks again. Julia

The description of the imposter phenomenon was first made in 1978 by Prof Pauline Clance and Dr Suzanne Imes. This feeling isn’t limited to people who are academically gifted, nor is it restricted to women. As public awareness of this phenomenon grew, it came to be described as Imposter Syndrome.

Surveys show that over 70% of people experience feeling the Imposter Syndrome at some time in their lives or careers.

You may be affected by Imposter Syndrome if you feel:

  • your work is never good enough and could be better
  •  you don’t really deserve this
  • people are just being kind to you
  • you’ve been really lucky up to now
  • you have a deep sense of “one day I’ll be found out”.

The good news is, Imposter Syndrome can be sorted.

You can learn new ways of thinking, you can practice new behaviours and you don’t need to be perfect before you start taking action to change!