Imposter syndrome - yikes!

I wonder if you've considered the types of people that suffer with imposter syndrome; the feeling we're somehow not worthy of the praise, success and opportunities we're given, DESPITE everyone else's opinion. The syndrome was initially discovered following a study of high achieving women in the late 70's, but there's much evidence that men and women experience the syndrome in equal measure. This is more often seen in men as a fear of failure whilst women seem less able to process their successes.

So why is it that so many of us, at various times in our lives, experience that gut-twisting, blush-inducing, heart-pounding feeling of "I'm not good enough" when we're trusted with a job or project or simply praised for a job well done. It can create such a feeling of overwhelm and anxiety that it can restrict us from taking on future challenges.

There's not a huge amount of clarity about the cause, however, some attributable factors are considered to be

* how we praise - children over-praised as beautiful, clever or good are liable to attribute their success to one of those criteria rather than simply their effort and capability

* social position - depending on someone's background, they may experience sub-conscious feelings of guilt around their achievements and success, brushing it aside

* expectations in relationships - some individuals may judge themselves on their ability to make others happy. This can create real turmoil when there are multiple demands that they simply cant fulfil

When paid a compliment, how often do you just say "thanks", with a smile?

Or do you find yourself putting your success down to chance, luck, fluke? Sound familiar?

Do you recognise any of the following feelings creeping into your internal dialogue?

Dismissing praise

Trying to be superhuman

Fear of Failure

Feeling guilty or afraid of success

Denial of your ability

Living under the constant pressure of being the best

It is possible to free yourself from the constraints of imposter syndrome, increasing your feelings of self-worth, self appreciation and being able to take on challenges without fear of failure. To start a conversation today, please get in touch.

Have a positive and peaceful week.

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