I host an on-demand podcast, Work Relationships Matter (WRM), that is repurposed as a radio show on Power Me Up Radio, the station with heart, on iHeart, Monday mornings at 7:30 PDT. The purpose of the podcast is to help listeners learn how my guests are succeeding in their chosen fields. After welcoming guests, I say “you are very successful. Before we get into that, tell me how it all begins?” A third of them respond by asking, do you think I am successful? I respond with a resounding yes. Then I rattle off all of the things they have done. It amazes me how many people doing excellent work doubt themselves. I am not a therapist, but it appears to me that they are suffering from Imposter Syndrome.
According to The Harvard Business Journal, Imposter Syndrome “can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evidence of success. These people suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence. This doubt overrides any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. They seem unable to internalize their accomplishments, however successful they are in their field. High achieving, highly successful people often suffer, so imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence.”
After reading that definition and self-reflection, I realized that I have fallen victim to it also. I actually found it easier to recognize Imposter Syndrome in others than in myself which helped me understand that I need to offer compassion to myself.
If you have or are suffering from Imposter Syndrome, you are in good company. Here are a few famous people who have admitted their issues with it: Tina Fey, Maya Angelo, Charlize Theron, Viola Davis, Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama, and Sonya Sotomayor to name a few. Although I couldn’t find the names, men have feelings of not measuring up also.
Ben Franklin said that a problem well stated is a problem half solved. Recognizing the symptoms is the first step. The next is to look inward to find out where those feelings are coming from. Then list your abilities, skills, and accomplishments while keeping your ego in check. The ultimate objective is to get a little better every day, not to compare yourself to others.
If you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome, how are you addressing it? To learn more about my coaching practice visit www.ProDestinyCoaching.com