Despite all of the success you’ve had in your work and life, as you shout out at the dinner table, “I feel like a winner,” why is it you feel like a fake. That you’re an imposter, a phony in this life. This is a phenomenon which is very real and exists. Highly successful people feeling they’re a failure.
You persist forward in life even thought the data suggest otherwise, as the information indicates the opposite from being true.
This feeling is constantly experienced internally, a feeling of chronic and continuous self-doubt, feelings which persists you don’t deserve what you’ve achieved.
The telltale sign of this, feeling like an impostor has been actually revealed as a disconnect which exists between your perceived performance and your actual performance.
Those who feel they don’t deserve what they’ve achieved usually has an excellent track record of accomplishment, such as above average grades, a extraordinary career, etc.
Yet, for some reason you think you’ve reached your stage in life by faking it, and at any moment, you’re going to be exposed as a fraud.
One characteristic of this mindset is although you crave acknowledgement and praise for your accomplishments, you really don’t feel comfortable once receiving it.
After all, you’re just faking it through life, unlike everyone else who appears to know what they’re doing.
Those Who Suffer From The “Imposter” Syndrome
If you suffer from it, never feel alone since it’s estimated the majority of professionals has experienced varying degrees of this at one time or another in their lives.
Also feel comfort those who are extremely high achievers in life and in business, are the ones who usually suffer from this, what’s referred to as the impostor syndrome.
Both men along with women experience this, the only difference being they respond to it differently.
In a recent study involving college students, women experienced higher degrees of anxiety, although they worked and competed just as hard to prove themselves.
The men who happened to score high, they avoided the situations where their weaknesses would potentially be exposed.
Their motivation was to always appear as strong as possible, by pursuing just the activities which showcased their strengths.
Where This Originates From
The feeling of inferiority, the “I don’t deserve this” syndrome stems from a variety of reasons.
One study revealed when young, either extreme overprotection or extreme lack of attention when it came to paternal care, led to this development.
Another study showed having friends or siblings which were non-supportive were associated with greater incidences of feeling like an impostor, for both men and women.
What these so called “friends” or siblings does is drains their confidence, while genuine friends will strengthen it.
Career Stepping Stones
Feeling like an impostor to some is considered a rite of passage, when it comes to building ones career and success in life.
As individuals move up the “ladder” in their profession, they become more skilled at their work. Once doing so, you’d think all of their self doubts would fade away.
After all, they must somewhat know what they’re doing and are competent, otherwise they wouldn’t get promoted. What’s found is the reverse is true.
Once someone progresses through their career and becomes more skilled, they’re also given bigger responsibility.
With the bigger responsibility comes the increased chance of failure.
When you were new at a job and made mistakes, others would cover for you or support you, or the mistake wasn’t drastic or was easily fixable.
But once becoming an executive, mistakes can potentially cost you your job, or your business profits.
So there’s no wonder why CEO’s tend to have enormous egos. They need to have one in order to silence their persistent inner voice of self-doubt, which they constantly hear.
They know not feeling adequate, can lead to making the wrong choice when they have to make these life altering decisions.
The Best Way To Combat The Imposter Syndrome
While there’s no real consensus on how you can treat this syndrome of feeling inadequate, there is a wide range of extremely useful advice given on the topic.
It appears there are several habits to adopt which are frequently recommended, as the best ways to overcome these feelings.
• Acknowledge Your Own Success – Those who suffer from this syndrome don’t internalize their successes. They’re more likely to attribute them to either luck or receiving help from others. Realize your success, your accomplishments are yours, regardless of how lucky you were or how much help you got. Make sure you always thank others, but also take some credit for your accomplishments as well, as you deserve the praise.
• Dealing With The Feelings – The fear of success or failure, the fear of being exposed as a fraud, are all unpleasant feelings. What they should do instead is motivate you. Accept everyone regardless of how successful they are, as everyone experiences bouts of self-doubt which underlies the impostor syndrome. It’s just part of becoming successful or accomplished. There’s nothing unusual about feeling inadequate.
• Controlling Your Own Thoughts – These feelings thrive because of self criticism. The more fault you find in yourself or your performance, the more you think you’re unworthy. Take everything in stride and become more mindful.
Our brains are wired to remember just the negative thoughts which happened in our lives rather than the positive ones, which is just a part of our evolution.
The reason is because the brain thinks negative experiences can be potentially life threatening, more so than positive outcomes. This is how our mind copes to keep us safe from danger.