In my 20 years of coaching, the three most common issues or concerns I hear from my clients are:
1) Time management problems
2) Organization issues and
3) Impostor syndrome
I’ve written extensively on the first two but not on the third. So, what is impostor syndrome and who does it affect? According to Psychology Today and other sources, impostor syndrome is a common feeling of self-doubt and insecurity that can affect individuals from all walks of life. People who struggle with it believe that they are undeserving of their achievements and the high esteem in which they are, in fact, generally held. They believe that their accomplishments are due to luck or deception, rather than their own abilities.
Overcoming impostor syndrome can be a challenge, however, with the right tools and strategies it is possible to reduce its impact. Here are some suggestions to overcome this syndrome.
1) Understand that the feeling is normal. According to Psychology Today (Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D.), this is a common feelingin everyone from high school honor students to Nobel Prize winners. Recognize that these feelings do not reflect your actual abilities or potential.
2) Reframe your thoughts. When negative feelings pop up, try to reframe them in a more positive light. Reflect upon what you have accomplished and the work you have put into your achievements.
3) Celebrate your accomplishments. I tell myclients that it is important to develop the capacity to relive your successes.I suggest that they keep a success journal. Everyday, write down what happenedthat day that you feel good about. It doesn’t have to be anything huge, it canbe a simple as sticking your plan for the day or making a call to someone youpromised yourself you would do.
4) Keep a happy file. In my top right deskdrawer I have a file labeled, “happy file”. In it I place notes that I receivefrom clients, copies of congratulatory emails, even birthday cards with specialwritten messages and anything else that tells me I did a good job for someoneor made a positive difference in someone’s life.
5) Create a support network. I like to tellmy clients to surround themselves with nutritious people. Friends, family andcolleagues who believe in you and your abilities and who will encourage andsupport you. They can go a long way in helping you reduce those feelings ofself-doubt.
6) Practice self-care. Since March of 2020when the COVID Virus pandemic was upon us. Self-care became the watchword formillions of people. Even to this day, self-care remains as an important habitto master. Taking care of yourself both mentally and physically can impact howyou feel about yourself. By taking care of yourself and doing the things youenjoy will give you a more positive outlook on life and go a long way inchasing away the negative feelings that impostor syndrome can generate.
7) Seek professional help. If you are havingtrouble overcoming impostor syndrome on your own, consider getting professionalhelp.
In conclusion, imposter syndrome is a common feeling thatcan impact people in many different ways. However, with the right tools andstrategies it can be lessened or even overcome.