Do you sometimes feel like an impostor? More specifically, do you overachieve and over work yourself so no one will really find out you don’t belong in the position you are in? If you (secretly) answered yes, you are not alone. The impostor phenomenon is one that plagues high-achieving people, especially women in school and the workplace. This is especially true for those who are starting out as small business entrepreneurs.
In a 2014 study by several researchers at Ghent University in Belgium, characteristic traits are reviewed to find out why certain people feel they are a fraud in their professional lives and how the impostor syndrome can affect career and life well-being.
Two traits that I, myself have ran across in peers and clients throughout my career are: 1) core self-evaluations and 2) maladaptive perfectionism. (Truth be told; I have displayed these traits myself at some point in my life.)
What does this all mean?
Simply put, if you are a person of high-achievement who is exceptionally hard on yourself and strives for a perfection that cannot be obtained, you may suffer from feeling like an impostor at some point in your life. You may even experience a lower level of job satisfaction, even as you are revered as the best in your field. This reverence is supported by countless facts that prove you do; indeed, deserve the accolades you receive – for you really are one of the best at what you do.
You don’t believe the facts or the rewards.
You hear the compliments and the praises but you don’t agree. You continue to work harder than anyone else in your industry to rise to your reputation so no one will find out you are just lucky and your success has nothing to do with anything you’ve done.
Time to get real with yourself.
Honestly, the feeling of being an impostor motivated you to get to where you are. It’s true! However, you aren’t enjoying yourself or your successes and you never will, unless you do something about it now.
Look at the facts.
The truth of the matter is you are not as lucky as you think you are. There are reasons you are as successful as you are today. And those reasons have every bit to do with you, your skill set and your determination. Your abilities and positive mindset got you where you are and they can continue to take you higher. Step outside of yourself and look at all the facts. If these facts were connected to a colleague of yours, would you believe they deserve the awards and reputation you have?
Remind yourself of the hard work, dedication and talents you possess. It is absolutely acceptable to give yourself a pat on the back and a high five, from time to time. Own it!
Find and stay with your support.
The Ghent University study is one of many that reveals healthy and positive social and professional support can assist in relieving struggles with perfectionism and negative self-talk.
Discover ways to trust your skills and be more confident in your success. Training and coaching can help you relieve the stress of perfectionism that may be stealing career and life satisfaction.
To enhance your confidence and train your brain against impostor syndrome and limiting beliefs, subscribe and listen to the FIT Tips podcast!