6 Ways To Overcome Imposter Syndrome
My first coaching call & me feeling like a fraud
The other week I had my first group coaching call with my new coach. I was so excited about it, about meeting new people but also a little nervous. Once the call started I could hear the chatter in my head going “Who the hell you think you are to be here? You can’t measure to them? They look at me weirdly, they judge me…”
“Thank you ego so much for the support once again!”
Have you ever been in a situation when you felt like a complete fraud?
Maybe it was in a group of people or in front of your class at school. Too many eyes are on you and you feel tiny, like a tiny ant on the floor – you would love to turn into one in those moments, right?
Let me first tell you:
“Imposter syndrome is your reaction to certain situations. It doesn’t mean you are less or that people who don’t suffer from it are more – it’s just the way you react!”
The term itself was first linked with high-achieving women by psychologists Suzanna Imes and Pauline Rosa Clance in 1970s. Later research has shown that 70% of people will experience at least one episode of this phenomenon in their lives.
People who experience imposter syndrome usually suffer from perfectionism, they can’t accept their own success and keep doubting themselves and their abilities, which can also lead to depression and anxiety.
Why could you be suffering from Imposter syndrome?
You might have to go way back to your past.
Maybe your parents highly valued achievements or they used to flip back and forth between offering praise and being critical. Or maybe a change in your life or adopting into a new role could trigger this phenomenon in you. For instance, starting a new job role, college or university might awake feelings in you that you don’t belong and are not capable.
For me it was a bit of both. In the eyes of my dad, I was always the one who is smart and will “make it” one day so whenever I would fail I would put so much blame on myself that led to self-punishment and this rooted belief “I don’t deserve” and “Whatever I do, it’s never good enough”. I also remember the moment when me as this village girl started visiting a high school in the city. I felt like a complete fraud and even wanted to switch schools couple times in my first year of studies.
Even celebrities like Emma Watson, Kate Winslet or Meryl Streep suffer from this feeling of self-doubt and constant unworthiness.
What to do when you are feeling like a fraud?
1. Your feelings are valid, but be aware that this self-talk that is happening in your head in those moments is not real
2. Recall your past successes and what you have overcome in your life until today (Big or small I don’t care. You have got this far, value that!)
3. Create an empowering affirmations to use whenever these feelings come up for you
4. Imagine the highest version of you and ask yourself, “Would she be thinking that?”
5. Be your best friend!!! Would you ever say to your best friend “You are not good enough, everyone here is better than you, who the hell do you think you are to be doing this.”
6. Reward yourself! However you react in your given situation, there could be a tiny change in your reaction pat yourself on your back or just say to yourself how amazing you are!
There was 10 of us on this coaching call that day and I got asked to introduce myself pretty much as the last one. I left the call with a feeling that I could say things better, react better and in that same moment when this chatter started in my head I gave myself a big pat on my back and said “You are freaking amazing Klara! Thank you ego for reminding me that you are here with me on this journey.”