BLOG: Imposter Syndrome

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Imposter Syndrome: And Why It’s Just a Matter of Perspective by Rob Cao

Imposter Syndrome – my favourite frenemy!

“I’m not good enough…”

“They’re going to find out I’m a fraud…” 

“I don’t deserve to be here….”

Sound familiar?

It’s a point of conversation I have often with some of the best people I know – crippled with self doubt and anxiety in their own ability regardless of the many hundreds of lives they have enriched.

On the flip side, have you ever experienced those moments where someone so blatantly incompetent and lacking in self-awareness talks their way into a position of power or authority only to fail to deliver what they promised? Bullshit baffles brains so often.

Life is not without a sense of irony…

There’s a great TED talk by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic about this very phenomena which you can view here.

So, let’s talk about some shifts in thinking that can help you put that imposter back in its box. Remember….

… it’s just a matter of perspective.

Usain Bolt was once asked just after he’d won another Gold at the Olympics “Were you nervous before the race?”. He replied, “Not nervous – excited”.

Nerves, anxiety, and excitement are all the result of the same chemical reaction in our brain. The difference between anxiety and excitement is how we perceive that feeling – the turning in our tummies. Don’t be scared or fearful – be excited about what you’re about to achieve.

… don’t be afraid to make the baby steps.

Appreciate your ‘wins’ no matter how small and make it a habit. You never know, these small baby steps might help you build up the courage to taking those giant leaps – either way you’ll still be moving forward.

… not everyone will love you, and that’s okay.

Just be you – and you’re all you need to be. All you need to be is authentic and true to yourself and your values. Not everyone will love you – but many will love and respect you for who you are, and that’s good enough.

… surround yourself with the right kind of people.

Are you surrounding yourself with the kind of people who will lift, support and guide you, or are you surrounded by people who will fuel your inner imposter to lift themselves up?

It’s a well versed belief that over the course of several years, you will become the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with in any given environment.

Choose wisely – and be kind.

… you don’t need to know everything.

Everyone has different strengths (and weaknesses). Everyone has different areas of expertise. Its okay to not know everything – engage and collaborate with people whose skills compliment your own – become more than the sum of your respective parts.

… don’t suffer in silence.

Don’t be afraid to talk about how you’re feeling – vulnerability is not a weakness. Self-doubt is not a taboo. They show remarkable self-awareness which gives you an instant advantage because you’re not blinded by your own ego.

Use it to fuel your desire and drive you to success. The right people will embrace your vulnerability, and so should you – because you are enough.

We mention vulnerability abovehere’s another amazing TED talk by they fabulous Brene Brown that’s worth a watch.