From Self-Doubt to Imposter Syndrome

“I still have a little impostor syndrome, it never goes away…that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously. What do I know?”

Who said this?

Michelle Obama, The List

Michelle Obama

What is Imposter Syndrome?

“How can anybody believe I can do this?”  “I’ve no right to be here” “I’m going to get found out” “I’m an imposter!”

It is a rare person who does not experience anxieties and self-doubt, sometimes, in some situations, at some time in their lives. Anxiety and stress can occur in any of us, when there is tension between what you think of what you do and what you believe others expect of you.

In a work situation, if you are experiencing anxiety and self-doubt and are worrying about a task this can lead you to massively over-prepare (it has to be perfect!) or perhaps to procrastinate (if you don’t actually produce the work or publish the book you have been writing for the past 10 years nobody will see that you’re a failure.  If the work appears at the absolutely last minute, there’s always ‘Sorry, I was so busy I ran out of time.”)

What is the real problem?
It can be a great mixture of things.  Try this one to start with:  If you do manage to accomplish the task, you will only experience momentary relief – “It was luck!”  “I worked harder and better than ever before so I won’t be able to repeat that!” Any positive feedback and praise is brushed aside as the feeling of being an anxious fraud fully re-emerges.

If you are someone who wants things to be absolutely right and perfect all the time, try this thought: in some parts of your life, in the more mundane and less important tasks you need to do, try being good enough.

Good enough
Nobody, but nobody can operate at 100% of their capacities at all times.  If you try, you will ultimately disappoint yourself, create stressful situations for yourself and feel a failure.
Try for 80%.  That is still pretty impressive.

And perfection can be rather dull.  The most interesting trees are not the ones that are perfectly shaped.

kmoss08_v_14apr09_pa_b
Multi-millionaire supermodel, Kate Moss has Amblyopia or a ‘lazy eye’.
Not perfect but definitely good enough!

If you would like to find out more about how you can tackle your own self-doubt and build yourself a confidence kit, try our Confidence Lab training.  You can even book our next public course on 18th March 2020 HERE
Michelle Obama photo by Vanity Fair
Kate Moss photo by Vogue
It is a rare person who does not experience anxieties and self-doubt, sometimes, in some situations, at some time in their lives.
Anxiety and stress can occur in any of us, when there is tension between what you think of what you do and what you believe others expect of you.
In a work situation, if you are experiencing anxiety, self-doubt and are worrying about a task this can lead you to massively over-prepare (it has to be perfect!) or perhaps to procrastinate (if you don’t actually produce the work or publish the book you have been writing for the past 10 years nobody will see that you’re a failure.  If the work appears at the absolutely last minute, there’s always ‘Sorry, I was so busy I ran out of time.”)
What is the real problem?
If you do manage to accomplish the task, you will only experience momentary relief – “It was luck!”  “I worked harder and better than ever before so I won’t be able to repeat that!”
Any positive feedback and praise is brushed aside as the feeling of being an anxious fraud fully re-emerge.
If you are someone who wants things to be absolutely right and perfect all the time, try this thought.  In some parts of your life, in the more mundane and less important tasks you need to do, try being good enough.
Good enough
Nobody, but nobody can operate at 100% of their capacities at all times.  If you try, you will ultimately disappoint yourself, create stressful situations for yourself and feel a failure.
Try for 80%.  That is still pretty impressive.
And perfection can be rather dull.  The most interesting trees are not the ones that are perfectly shaped.  Multi-millionaire supermodel, Kate Moss has Amblyopia or a ‘lazy eye’.  Not perfect but definitely good enough!
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