Are you feeling like a fake? That you’re pulling a fast one on everyone around you in your work? That you’re fakin’ it ‘til you make it?
Maybe like an impostor?
And even presented with evidence that you aren’t a fake.
That your manager and co-workers all think you’re performing wonderfully.
The work itself is of high quality and exceeds expectations.
You get glowing reviews.
They keep promoting you!
Nope. Not good enough.
Still a fake. And feeling crappy too.
I see many clients coming in citing feeling like an impostor at work.
The concept of Impostor Syndrome came into being in the 1970s by researchers, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes. The concept gained notoriety through the 1980s with a book on the topic, and then exploded in the age of social media.
Thanks to social media, you’ve a got a name to what you’re feeling!
Well, sort of. First what’s in a name? It turns out the phrase Impostor Syndrome is inaccurate; it is more aptly named Impostor Phenomenon as it is not an official diagnosis in the clinical sense.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s break it down.
It’s actually a collection of conditions, from some commonly experienced causes. Do you:
…worry a lot generally?
…feel insecure about your life?
…tend towards perfectionism and fear what happens to you if you don’t get it right?
…struggle with making things happen for yourself?
…have low belief that you can succeed in any situation?
…compare yourself to all the other people around you and perceive them as much more intelligent and capable than you?
…have parents who put an outsized emphasis on your performance in school?
…fear that you would never be good enough for them?
And by the way, research says that most of us experience the impostor phenomenon at some point in our lives.
So you’re not alone.
But if it creates constant, outsized discomfort that blocks you from aspects in your life, then you’ll likely want to explore some resolutions.
In coaching we take a look at your particular situation, many are listed above. We work through what could take you to a better state of being in all aspects of your experience.
Then the impostor in you drops away from the foreground. It might show up again, but instead, it is just part of background noise of life.
You gain self efficacy, confidence, self esteem, comfort in your own abilities and that where you are right now and what you are doing is exactly where you need to be and it is enough.
You are enough as you are. And doing well.
How about you? How does feeling like an impostor resonate with your current experience of life? What would life feel like to you if you were to truly know that how you perform in your work is more than enough, better than you thought?