Ever felt like a complete fraud? That you are not who or what people think you are? That you simply aren’t good enough? That one day you’ll be caught out? And everything will come crashing down?
If so, then you are most certainly not alone. An estimated 70% of us will experience variations of these sorts of feelings at least once in our lifetime.
This common phenomenon is known as Imposter Syndrome. It affects everyone from high achievers to students, people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. It materialises in a variety of different situations, from simple everyday tasks or studies to job interviews and public speaking. It instils self-doubt and prompts a lack of self-worth. It makes you undervalue your contributions, so that you sabotage self-success. And it sees you set yourself unrealistic goals or expectations that give rise to a continuous nagging fear of not living up to them.
All of this causes significant damage to a person’s mental health and well-being. Fuelling sleep disruption and depression, anxiety, and distress. Impacting personal relationships and an ability to perform professionally.
Moving past these constant feelings of inadequacy and fraud requires a shift in the way they are framed. It’s important to remind yourself that everyone shares feelings of insecurity or self-doubt at times. However, it’s not only possible to overcome them, but to realise your true potential and thrive as a result.
Learning to love yourself is key. Nurturing your self-confidence and self-awareness are fundamental in building self-belief. Be mindful of the things that bring you down and cut them out of your life. Focusing solely on the stuff that’s inspiring or motivating, enables and empowers you to fulfil your goals. Embrace success by recognising and acknowledging your accomplishments and achievements. Give yourself credit and celebrate those wins. We all make mistakes, so permit yourself to make them and silence your inner critic. And learn to accept you for who you are, your strengths and your weaknesses.
Remember that nobody is perfect. All you can do, is be the best, most authentic version of yourself. And that makes you incredible.