Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

 

 

What if you were good enough?

 

What if you could just cast away the doubts you use to stop yourself from standing out?

 

Almost all of us have these. Being human, it’s the nature of the beast. Have you ever make a presentation at work or thought afterwards about a meeting and just criticised yourself for the minor glitches. Kept rerunning them in your mind and gone to bed with a nicely set scowl on your face?

 

Then it pours into your future casting.  I can’t do that. Where’s my credibility? Who am I to say this?  I’m rubbish at XYZ.

 

We allow these thoughts to get in the way. Instead of pursuing new opportunities, we focus on what we can’t do or judge ourselves harshly. We let them hold us back while others move forward.

 

What, then is the antidote?

 

A simple strategy is to focus on our strengths instead to override the negative mental chatter.   Essentially we’re turning the tables on what we haven’t got trump what we do have – turning this into a celebration of ourselves in context of whatever it is that we are holding ourselves back from.

 

Step 1: Clearly identify what it is that you are not doing.  This could be making speculative approaches to organisations you’d like to work for, asking for more challenging client assignments or applying for jobs.

 

Step 2:  Take a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns. On the left hand side, list all the skills, experience, attributes that you ‘they’ want and/or that you believe ‘other people’ have.

 

Step 3:  Please take your time to do this!

Go through the list item by item. Against each one, factually assess where you are.  Where it IS something you can do, acknowledge it – CELEBRATE it – write down about it boastfully in the right hand column – allow yourself to show off!  What was great? What did you enjoy? What did you learn or teach others? What did people say?  (By the way if anyone wants to Play it Big in the comments box, you are very welcome!).

 

What is if something you have done before, but you think / insist it was badly?  How can you say this with panache?  What if failure were the new success?  It’s a way of learning, if we just get up again. What did you learn? What if others appreciate your vulnerability and willingness to attempt again?

 

Where you don’t have this skills YET or the experience YET or attributes YET, note that you don’t have these YET. Are you willing to acquire them as you go along?

 

Step 4: Look at this complete picture of you.  Pick out the strengths / the positives and highlight them. Savour them. You may want to make a separate list of these and look at these daily for a couple of weeks, and keep building on the examples.

 

The potency of this exercise is in focusing on your strengths combined with the repetition.  My favourite personal development quip is – the biggest room in the world is … the room for improvement. No one is perfect, and you’ve been telling yourself about your failures for long enough. Take the time to focus on your strengths and see what happens!

 

I’d love to know your thoughts and experiences, and as mentioned, please feel free to go public on your strengths in the comments box!

 

Until next time,

 

Lubna

 

 

 

 

 

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