When I started teaching college at Georgian College some years ago, I had an opportunity to learn about imposter syndrome… from first hand experience!

I arrived at my first day of teaching expecting… expecting… well something. The Dean to audit my first class. The IT department to be checking out that I knew how to use the AV. Security to kick me out and tell me I didn’t belong there. How on earth had I become faculty!?

I told myself that this feeling would go away. I had never heard of Imposter Syndrome.

With imposter syndrome, it’s hard to accept praise. Your “imposter” self makes you believe you’re not qualified, not intelligent enough, not deserving.

You feel like a fraud. And you fear that others will realize you’re incompetent.

Interestingly – high-achievers are more likely to be confronted with this issue. A growth mindset and the courage of vulnerability are key to getting past this.

Get Imposter Syndrome Out

Write down your fears and doubts – then examine them for actual value or truth. For instance – examine this “imposter” statement: “I cannot do perfectly this thing that I have never done.” Really, that is what imposter syndrome is often saying to you when you boil it down. What does this tell you about the thinking behind it? What does it lead you to next?

Perhaps – “Hmm, of course not. Is this a learnable skill? Could I take a training? find a mentor?”

What Limiting Beliefs are you telling yourself about you? This Limiting Beliefs Journal is a handy way to ferret out sneaky Limiting Beliefs in your world.

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Write out all of your Limiting Beliefs and challenge them. These questions are great for blowing out false limits:

  • Is this true?
  • When is this not true?
  • How can I eliminate this today?
  • What if the opposite is actually true?

It is lovely how quiet and clear your mind gets when negative self-talk disappears. If you need some help with this process, do reach out and let’s have a conversation! I don’t miss my “imposter” at all – and neither will you.

In Toastmasters I often tell new Executives – by the time you have completed your year in this role, you will feel you have a firm grasp on it.

Embrace Reality

I came across a great image on Twitter this week courtesy of @Earth_Kate https://twitter.com/Earth_Kate/status/1096477098007515136

It captures the craziness and reality of Imposter Syndrome succinctly. When you are struggling with self-doubt you are acutely aware of your limited knowledge and experience and believe everybody else knows ‘all of the answers’. When in reality, each of us holds just a piece of the whole picture. And, when you step out of the doubt and fear into vulnerability, you build a team that does have all of the answers – working together.