Everyone’s talking about imposter syndrome – are you one?

We often read about high achievers that identify they have felt like an imposter in their roles. They have intermittent levels of self-doubt about their actual abilities to carry out certain tasks or roles, they feel they are a fraud and at any moment, someone will “find them out”.

Have you ever felt like this?

But - are we just perpetuating moments of self-doubt, thoughts of lack of confidence to pervade our beings and continue the incessant misunderstanding that to be great we MUST be an imposter.

People have named those MOMENTS of self-doubt and personal concern as a syndrome. Is this healthy, is this useful? A syndrome is described as “a set of medical signs and symptoms that are correlated with each other and, often, with a particular disease or disorder.” What are we actually doing when using this label on ourselves or others?

Why are we so willing to ACCEPT a medical term for something that stems from imprinted beliefs and past experiences, that is changeable and let this rock us to the core to stop us being who we truly are?

Let’s call these MOMENTS as they really are. Fleeting MOMENTS of self-doubt, and FEAR.  Fear of achieving, fear of failing, fear that the situation will stretch us to a stage that is unfamiliar and therefore we may temporarily falter.

We often recoil from things we don’t understand, shy away from those thoughts and situations that do not make sense, yet – they are merely NOT FAMILIAR.

There is no need to LABEL these thoughts and feelings with a medical or technical term and take on the persona of being an imposter – someone who is deceptive for fraudulent gain.

These are NATURAL MOMENTS and responses to THE UNKNOWN. A place where we haven’t been before, a task, situation or relationship that is not in our realm of experience - YET. These moments of self-doubt can be real and we need to ACKNOWLEDGE these feelings and CHOOSE different thoughts. This is being authentic.

We can ALL experience being our true AUTHENTIC SELF.  This includes those moments of self-doubt and fear. Moments that give us information to tweak our course, chose a different response, and set ourselves up for continued success.

This takes a deep connection with our values and understanding of our THOUGHTS, FEELINGS and ACTIONS from a perspective of curiosity and anti-fragility. A place where we move beyond bouncing back, we move beyond bouncing forward to a place where we regenerate, rebuild, embrace uncertainty and move beyond uncertainty with strength and vigour.

This can only be done in response to embracing these moments of self-doubt, (be honest and real) not labelling them as a syndrome, and using these times to continue to develop our simple yet powerful strategies to be the more authentic leader that EVERYONE of us are, regardless of our job titles.

To be robust in the world of Science, technology, engineering, math, medicine and indeed art, we need to recognise these are MOMENTS – information about an area we can choose a different response to.

Recognise that these moments are temporary, local to this moment right here right now, and are changeable:

·         Have a plan in place to NOTICE those thoughts in your head (talking about it, reading about it, increases your awareness)

·         STOP the rumination of the thought (a visual image, a change in physical position)

·         Have a plan of the replacement thought (write down the phrase or word that SWITCHES this around for you)

We can also work with you to understand where this stems from and powerful ways to stop this from reoccurring again and again and again.

There is a way – We are not imposters – We are Authentic!

If you want to know how to do this - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.