Defeat Imposter Syndrome: Own It

Certainly, you’ve heard a life coach, motivational speaker…or even your best friend…recommend that you “Own it.” Usually he or she is talking about your less-than-desirable qualities. But has anyone ever urged you to do the same with your talents and accomplishments?

Are you a high-achieving individual who has difficulty taking credit for your successes? Or who gives all the acclaim to good fortune and great timing? Or who alleges that you’ve deceived others, even though, in reality, you haven’t?

If you tend to believe that you are undeserving of the success you’ve experienced, you’re not alone. It’s a response, a defence mechanism – even a social strategy – called Imposter Syndrome, and it’s been running amok through board rooms and awards dinners for at least as long as humans have been working to bring home the highly salted, expertly cured bacon.

When High-Achievers are Under-Believers

First identified in the 1980s, Imposter Syndrome is not considered to be a mental disorder, nor is it an inherent personality trait. Instead, it seems to sprout as an expression of humility – but then blooms into something highly toxic. Before the sufferer knows it, she’s making excuses for her achievements and convincing herself that she’s not very intelligent or competent. She feels like a fraud, and experiences real guilt associated with these faux details.

Imposter Syndrome can cripple your potential; it will cause you to settle for less than you want and to feel largely unfulfilled – personally and professionally.

So what can you do to Own It? To give yourself the credit you need to move forward? Here are a few pieces of advice that I share with my high-achieving, yet under-believing, clients:

  • Call out those negative thoughts, isolate them, learn to recognise them, and you will soon learn to eliminate them.
  • Distinguish your outward accomplishments from your interpretation of them. Practice seeing what others see. Make a list – this often helps.
  • Dispose of the idea that single mistakes are valid indicators of competency.
  • Accept the fact that perfection is not a measurement for success – it’s just a preference that can be done without.
  • Concede to the fact that your negative perceptions are not reality-at-large.
  • Immediately stop comparing yourself to others. Toss out this habit and replace it with the understanding that others are simultaneously comparing themselves to you.

Countless numbers of my clients have suffered from Imposter Syndrome. Once they learn to own their talents, achievements, and competency, their businesses advance and their brands grow, exponentially. We work on how to own all that’s brilliant about them and their business, and show them how believing goes hand-in-hand with achieving. It’s a gift to see the transformation and I trust that you will find a way to defeat Imposter Syndrome too.

I hope you enjoyed this article.

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Have a beautiful day, beautiful you.