Let’s Talk About Impostor Syndrome

11 November 2019

“Don’t waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window – or break down a door” – Brooke Shields

The definition of Imposter syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is ‘A psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”’.

It’s nothing new, the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’ was essentially born from the feelings evoked when experiencing Impostor Syndrome. But why, in an age where we’re busier and more successful than ever do we continue to have these overwhelming feelings of being found out?

From the countless articles I’ve read, one thing appears to be true, it’s often incredibly capable and high achieving individuals who experience Impostor Syndrome. Therefore, we can be sure that these feelings have absolutely nothing to do with your abilities as a person. Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming evidence that you are not only more than capable of the role in which you have been given, but flourishing in it, someone with Impostor Syndrome will remain convinced that they are undeserving of the success they have accumulated.

A lot of the time, we bring our achievements back to good timing, a good team (family unit, colleagues, teachers etc.) or luck. Instead of simply enjoying the credit we’ve been given, we choose to fear it. While some of the above may have been factors in the goals we have achieved, the point I want to make is that ultimately it is YOU who has harnessed the support and opportunities, and therefore YOU who should reap the rewards.

When all is said and done, you are where you are for a reason. Don’t let yourself forget that you’re much smarter, much more capable and much stronger than you give yourself credit for. You didn’t come this far to only come this far! Don’t let these feelings hold you back now, let them spur you on.

According to Dr. Valerie Young, Imposter Syndrome isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. In her book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It Dr. Young describes 5 individual sub-cultures within the syndrome: the Perfectionist, the Superwoman/man, the Natural Genius, the Soloist, and the Expert.

If this is something you’ve been struggling with and want to delve in deeper you can find her book here: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Thoughts-Successful-Women-Impostor/dp/0307452719 I’ve just ordered it and can’t wait to curl up and read.

I hope you enjoyed the post and as always, if you have any queries or thoughts, I’d love to hear them!

Nicole ♡