Ever feel like you don't deserve your success? Like any minute someone will discover you are not as good as you portray and will call you out as a fraud? If you walk around feeling this way, know you are not alone.
Some of the most successful and famous people suffer from Imposter syndrome. Presidents, writers, actresses, and others that have achieved great success describe this feeling of looking over their shoulder waiting for someone to "find them out."
Imposter syndrome was discovered and named by two psychologists, Pauline Clance, and Suzanne Innes in 1978. The definition is the feeling of inadequacy and not deserving the success and accomplishments of one's life accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud. Often seen in people who have overcome significant adversity in life to achieve their success.
If you are one of the millions who suffer from Imposter Syndrome here are a few ideas to overcome this feeling and start embracing your true self.
Share Yourself with Others
The best way to move your focus from self is to focus on others. Share your gifts with others and donate your time to those who can benefit from your gift. Maybe you can inspire others who need the confidence to face their fears and go for their dreams.
Take Credit for your Role
What did it take to get here? Chances are it took a fair amount of sacrifice to reach your goals. Reflect on what you did to achieve your success.Quite often we are so focused on the future; we forget to reflect on the past. Look to your past efforts to understand your present success.
Stop keeping Score
Sometimes in life, we fall into the habit of comparing our success to others. You are unique; your success may look different from anyone else's, this doesn't mean it is less significant. Only you can define your success. If you are the ruler to measure why are you shorting yourself?
Test Your Ideas
Treat your ideas as if you are an inventor in a test lab creating new ways to achieve your success. Thomas Edison and many others found 10,000 ways to do something before they found the one that worked.
Celebrate Your Diversity
Are you striving to be your ideal picture of success? Why would you ever want to be like anyone else? I enjoy people from all backgrounds, talents, and personalities. Think about this, if we were all the same, how boring a world would that be?
Life Experience- Rings of a Tree
A trees life can be measured by the rings inside the trunk. Each ring represents a new season of growth. I think of our lives and the stages we encounter like the tree. We grow out of one phase and into the next. Knowing whatever you don't have today, you may not have grown into yet. When you look at life this way, it is an adventure. I look back on my life and see the rings of my tree.
Fake it Till You Believe It
Amy Cuddy, Social Psychologist, said in her famous 2012 Ted Talk, "fake it until you believe it." She is not telling you to fake it for others to believe, but for you to believe in yourself. Great advice if you ask me.
Share Your Feelings
Find a friend and a coffee shop and open the conversation regarding this topic. You will most likely find they have felt this way at one point or another, and maybe still do, The fact is when you share your feelings with others you are no longer carrying this burden alone. It feels good to get it off your chest, a bonus- it will lose strength or power when you just let it out.
You Lucky Dog!
Luck can be found at the intersection between opportunity and perseverance. I love it when I hear people say, "they are so lucky, they must have had a connection there." or "I wish I had time, the chance, the opportunity to do this."There have been numerous times in sales when I have heard these comments. I ask, "what actions have you taken lately to achieve your success?" In everything in life- "you get out of it what you put into it." Don't feel bad about your success; you earned it.
Hope these ideas help you overcome Imposter Syndrome. Be adventurous. Test new ideas, and reflect on the hard work it took for you to get where you are today- Celebrate your life- you deserve it.