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, qualities or attributesHave you ever got a new job, gained a promotion, taken on a project or started something new that needed specific skills, qualities or attributes and got that sinking feeling that you aren't actually good enough and someone will find you out? That's 'Imposter Syndrome' that is.
Apparently, it's the High Achiever sabateur rearing its ugly head. It allows 'mean little cow' the chance to go like a bull in a china shop in your head. 'You are a phoney' You are a fake' You are a fraud and everyone will find you out!'
It strangely happened to me after I won the Bizmums award on Saturday. 'ON Line Bizmum of the Year' 'OMGIDDY. I shouldn't have won that. I don't know enough about SEO and analytics etc etc.'
Having taken a selfie of myself and guest speaker, the wonderful Amanda Dodd from Koogar Marketing she asked me to tag her if I posted on Facebook. It was this that triggered 'Imposter Syndrome' to rear its mooing head. 'I don't know how to do that. I really shouldn't have won that award. There are women here that know so much more about social media. Blah,blah, moo, moo, moo....'
What a load of nonsense! I let this go on in my head for over an hour as I drove my car to my auntie's. What a waste of energy. However, it has to be said that in my 20's this would have gone on for weeks and really undermined me and contributed to my burn out. Today I use it as an action signal.
Imposter Syndrome strikes all of us at one time or another and it appears there are several reasons. The first is perfectionism. A feeling that if it isn't perfect, it isn't worthy of merit. This impossible expectation feeds the 'imposter syndrome' and gains it loads of proof that it is right, when it is obviously wrong. The whole reason I won that award over people that have more 'success', more knowledge and understanding was because of two reasons; I practice what I preach by being consistent and showing up daily on facebook and periscope, here on my blog & newsletter every two weeks and support the women who need support to be their own best friend and make changes to avoid overwhelm. Second, was that I demonstrated the core belief of my business in that 'if you can you will.'. I know what I can't do on line but when I want or need to learn something to move forward, or spread my message further, I do. (After the Awards Ceremony I learnt how to tag everyone I'd taken pictures of, so new skill acquired. BOOM)
Is it perfect? God no. I'm not perfect in anything I do, I ain't no swishy haired build a 7 figure business coach, but I do a great job, I care and I am passionate. Good enough!
The second is the dreaded Comparisonitis. Standing in a room full of outstanding women and seeing all the amazing things they are doing was inspiring for me, however, if I was in a different place in my business or life I could have looked round and been intimidated and allowed Imposter Syndrome to strike. Comparing yourself to anyone else and where you are up to in life or business is futile and negative. Using people as role models and as inspiration on the other hand is motivating and empowering. Listening to Amanda and Emma Sutton of Naked Presenting inspired me to come home and start looking at how I stand out from other coaches and what positive changes I could make or continue to enhance what I am already doing by being uniquely, imperfectly perfect me.
So, if you have just got a new job, taken on a new role, won something, gained a promotion, contract or project, and have suddenly had a wobble, here are some top tips to calm you down and help to put that 'mean little cow' voice, and all the cow s@?% it's talking, out to pasture.
1. Know that everyone feels like this once in a while. It is normal. Every time you stretch your comfort zone or move up a gear in life or business, it is likely that 'Imposter Syndrome' will pipe up with the 'You aren't good enough to do this' line. It might be fleeting or it might keep coming back, but it's your reaction to it that will keep you stuck in its repetitive drone! Look at these lovely ladies who have suffered from phoney feelings themselves.
“I have written eleven books, but each time I think,'uh oh, they're gonna find out now. I've run a game on everybody, and they're going to find me out.'" - Maya Angelou
“Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this. I’m a fraud.” – Kate Winslett
“I still think people will find out that I’m really not very talented. I’m really not very good. It’s all been a big sham.” – Michelle Pffeifer
2. Accept this as an action signal. It's a fear in you that you haven't got the skills, qualities or attributes a particular role you are playing needs. Act on the truth in that and the Imposter feeling will disappear.
3. Accept mistakes for what they are, learning. If you have got a new job and you make a mistake don't beat yourself with the 'Imposter' stick, learn from it and make yourself stronger, better.
4. Ask yourself these questions:
a. Why exactly do you feel like an imposter?
Why aren't you actually as good as others believe you to be?
b. Why did you get that job, promotion, step up your business?
List your skills, qualities and attributes.
c. Why don't you feel confident in your abilities?
Actually are you suffering from'Perfectionism' or 'Comparisonitis'?
Where do you feel you are lacking? Is it true? Write it down.
d. Where can you take action, find support, gain experience, knowledge to increase your confidence and stretch your comfort zone?
5. Take action. Step by step you will feel more comfortable and start to believe in you as others do already
6. Look that 'Imposter' in the eye and call it out, prove it wrong.
If you are still struggling with this, then call me we can make a plan of action to help you get your mojo back and banish that mooing voice! Text me the word MOO on the number 07946511435 and I'll ring back within 24 hours.
Or click on the word download for my FREE e-book Manage You. Manage Your Mind.
Could you share your experience of Imposter Syndrome in the comments below, it'll help others know it is normal?
How did you prove that 'mean little cow' wrong?