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Decoding Imposter Syndrome

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I am a fraud.
I am not good enough.
I don’t deserve this.
People will find out and think I am a phony,
Does anyone really care anyway?

Decoding Imposter Syndrome

According to this article on the topic in Scientific American: “Impostor Syndrome is a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  It strikes smart, successful individuals.  It often rears its head after an especially notable accomplishment, like admission to a prestigious university, public acclaim, winning an award, or earning a promotion. Impostor Syndrome doesn’t discriminate: people of every demographic suffer from feeling like a fraud, though minorities and women are hardest-hit.”

Funny how Imposter Syndrome (I.S.) hits after you experience an accomplishment rather than a failure. Now that I know what those self-sabotaging feelings are, I have developed a method to manage them when they make an unwelcome appearance.

So in case you are feeling like a little not so fabulous fake and have a touch of “I.S.” here are some ways to fix the situation and reframe it:

Retrain the brain: Stop thinking things like “I’m just lucky.” Or, “I was in the right place at the right time.” Or, “I really don’t deserve this.” It’s more than luck. It’s pluck and effort. You worked hard and the timing worked out. And it’s all good!

Pat yourself on the back instead of kicking yourself: Celebrate your accomplishments and don’t dwell on your mistakes. We all screw up at some point, but that does not need to drive your mental engine. Power it with positive energy by focusing on what you did right, not what you did wrong.

Stop worrying about making a good impression and focus on doing a great job: You will feel better and work better if you just do what you do best rather than trying to impress others.

Comparing yourself to others is setting yourself up for bringing yourself down. There will always be someone who seems to have it all and do it all far better than you. But who cares other than you? So why bother? I am sure Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II never worries about whether she is doing better or worse than Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, both of whom are the two reigning queens in the world. Be your own Queen and rule your own domain.

Let It Go: Worry and Doubt? Toss them out! Like waste, they clog your brain.

Create a Me Mantra: Like these:

  • “There is no one else like Me.”
  • “I am lucky to be Me.”
  • “Why bother being anyone else but Me?
  • “It’s Me who can make a difference by how I act and feel and how I can impact the lives of others.”

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