IMPOSTER SYNDROME IS NO JOKE!
Have you ever felt like a fraud or a fake? You know that feeling of “omg, if they only knew?” High achieving people often feel like this and it’s SO NORMAL to some degree --- unless it stops you in your tracks causing a negative impact your business, career, entrepreneur life, family, friendships, and overall lifestyle.
A few people, like Oscar Winner Viola David, recent golden globe winner Akwafina (she just won her award to congrats girl!) Mr, Rogers, and the one and only Michelle Obama have all discussed their experience with imposter syndrome -- so what is it? The term impostor phenomenon was introduced in 1978 by Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Dr. Suzanne A. Imes.
This is how it all went down:
They interviewed a sample of 150 high-achieving women. All 150 women had formerly been recognized for their professional excellence by colleagues, and had displayed academic achievement through degrees earned and standardized testing scores. They had awards. They had recognition. Are you getting the whole world of this? There was evidence of them being experts, high achieving, they should be where they are, it makes sense right? There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that if you want an expert in X -- you go to Sally. Sally, didn’t think so. And she wasn’t the only one.Despite all the evidence, they were looking around going ...who me? These women lacked the INTERNAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of their accomplishments.
I want to be responsible right now and say, at the time of the research 1978, women were the subject of this study so it’s understandable that the research skewed to females (back then) today, we know that 70% of people (both men and women) have experienced imposter syndrome in their lifetime.
IMPOSTER SYNDROME is not a disorder.
IMPOSTER SYNDROME….is not a mental illness.
Dr. Clance and Dr. Imes defined impostor phenomenon or imposter syndrome: As an individual experience of self-perceived intellectual phoniness...aka -- feeling like a fraud!
Trait # 1: You feel your success is a result of luck. This is such a common thread in people who experience imposter IMPOSTER SYNDROME because it discredits the hard work you’ve actually put in. All the studying it or just the application of your skills. There is no validation in existence nor there could never be that would quench that thirst of “was it all just luck” And the downfall of this way of thinking is that you life a small life because you don’t want to be put in a situation where you have to experience a LOSS so you never go for that promotion, that raise, that new project --in other words, you keep yourself protected from possible WINS.
Trait # 2: You minimize praise or avoid acknowledgment:
IMPOSTER SYNDROME has you say things like, ‘Oh, anybody could have done it, there’s nothing special about me!” Do an internal check here because I know many of you want to remain humble -- but what you say in response to acknowledgement or praise -- is it coming from an empowered state of mind or disempowered? Empowered is, got it! Thanks, Yes, Disempowered is shrinking your work into nothing and not seeing how truly talented, skilled, and valuable you are in the world!
Trait #3: YOU FEEL LIKE A FRAUD!
This is the classic IMPOSTER SYNDROME experience. I remember working for one of the most iconic advertising agencies on the globe being miserable for 4 years because I was scared they were going to uncover “I was a fraud!” I was hired as a temp recruiting account directors all the way up to Executive VPs and even a COO for the company’s social media division in New York, After being there for only 3 months (as a temp) I was asked to go into a meeting with my boss (the head of recruiting) and the GLOBAL head of social media. GLOBAL! Take about FRAUD!!! I literally had a panic attack in the bathroom 1 hour before the meeting. I’m fired. I’m sure I’m fired. And I remember having thoughts of “now what?”
The global head for social media department was on a phone call in like Switzerland or something for some convention and in a small conference room was my boss and myself (and the phone). To be honest ...everything said to me was a blur. It was blaa, blah, blah…..and I kept scanning/listening for the word, FIRED, LETTING YOU GO, etc. Instead, my boss kicked me under the table (she noticed I was zoned out) and she asked, what’s your response? I was like -- can you repeat that one more time please?
Our global head’s voice said, “You’ve been doing such a great job for us in New York, we want to hire you permanently as the Head of Social Media Recruiting for North America which means now you will be also hiring for Atlanta, DC, Chicago, San Fran, etc. I thought I was miserable before? My panic attacks got worse! Because now, the pressure was on -- I had “tricked” them into thinking I was good. Meanwhile, because of the hires I was making, we were winning accounts, growing the business, and our work was winning awards being globally recognized! Despite my skills (being amazing at recruiting) I was trapped inside that FRAUD mindset living my most miserable life.
Trait #4: You experience symptoms related to depression, generalized anxiety, and low self-confidence. And you’re starting to see how it all connects right? Imposter syndrome is the experience -- but the impact could go as far as feeling depressed, anxiety, and lack of confidence in what you’re doing and what you’re good at.
Let’s take a moment here--and tell me --WHAT’S OPENING UP FOR YOU?
WHAT ARE YOU DISCOVERING?
Leave that in the comments!
Dr. Clance and Dr. Imes believed that this mental framework for impostor phenomenon developed from factors such as: gender stereotypes, early family dynamics, culture, and attribution style (how you explain a negative event to yourself). I want you to know what you’re not alone, remember, at least 70% of the population has experienced feeling like this in their career - and if you’re relating to any of the traits and you see a version yourself in my example -- there’s hope.
Experiencing impostor syndrome in your lifetime is normal and some might say it's a little healthy but if it's paralyzing you to make confident decisions and has you stuck in a fraud mindset -- where you feel like a fake or that soon, people will really find out who you are -- then consider reaching out to a mentor or hiring a breakthrough coach! You deserve to lead a happy life full of joy, peace of mind, and full self expression! Also, check out my SUPERCHARGER! course below for extra help!
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