Did you know that mega-star, actor, singer, and dancer Jennifer Lopez, who has a net worth of 400 Million Dollars, was quoted saying that even though she had sold 70 million albums, she felt like she was not good? — Does Jennifer Lopez suffer from imposter syndrome?
Maya Angelou, Jodie Foster, Michelle Obama, Penelope Cruz and thousands of other leaders and influencers who have “made it” have felt and said similar things.
Research suggests that approximately 70 percent of people will experience at least one episode of impostor syndrome in their lives. It may be especially prevalent among women considered to be high-achievers.
An article I read in Harvard Business Review defined imposter syndrome as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. People who feel like imposters suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. They seem unable to internalize their accomplishments however successful they are in their field.
High achieving, highly successful people often suffer, so imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. In fact, some researchers have linked it with perfectionism, especially in women.
4 common thoughts and feelings associated with imposter syndrome include:
- “I must not fail” There can be a huge amount of pressure currently not to fail in order to avoid being “found out.” Paradoxically, success also becomes an issue as it brings the added pressure of responsibility and visibility. This leads to an inability to enjoy success.
- “I feel like a fake” Imposters believe they do not deserve success or professional accolades and feel that somehow others have been deceived into thinking otherwise. This goes hand in hand with a fear of being “found out”, discovered, or “unmasked”.
- “It’s all down to luck” The tendency to attribute success to luck or to other external reasons and not their abilities is a clear indicator of imposter syndrome. They may typically say or think: “I just got lucky” or “it was a fluke”. Often this masks the fear that they will not be able to succeed the next time.
- “Success is no big deal” The tendency to downplay success and discount it is marked in those with imposter syndrome. They might attribute their success to it being an easy task or having support and often have a hard time accepting compliments.
So, what can you do to mitigate the negative effects of imposter syndrome?
Here are 5 Simple Ways to Oust Your Inner Imposter:
- Recognize imposter feelings when they emerge. Awareness is the first step to change, so ensure you track these thoughts: what they are and when they emerge.
- Rewrite your mental programs. Instead of telling yourself they are going to find you out or that you don’t deserve success, remind yourself that it’s normal not to know everything and that you will find out more as you progress and let yourself off the hook.
- Talk about your feelings. There may be others in your circle who feel like imposters too – it’s better to have an open dialogue rather than harbour negative thoughts alone
- Consider the context. Most people will have experienced moments or occasions where they don’t feel 100% confident. There may be times when you feel out of your depth and self-doubt can be a normal reaction. If you catch yourself thinking that you are useless, reframe it: “the fact that I feel useless right now does not mean that I really am.”
- Seek support. Everyone needs help: recognize that you can seek assistance from a mentor, coach or friend and that you don’t have to do everything alone. This will give you a good reality check and help you talk things through.
You know as well as I do that being a business owner is not just about making money and creating a lifestyle. It’s also about contributing to the world and being yourself while you do it. It’s about bringing out the best and fullest version of YOU, so that you can fulfill your mission and live out your purpose on this planet.
If you’ve been struggling for way too long and you’re feeling grounded-less, misaligned or scattered in your quest to build your business authentically based on your values and strengths, please know that you can choose a different way.
I invite you to stop tolerating the business you have, and start creating what you want.
What is one thing that you can do TODAY, to move your vision and your dreams just one step closer to achieving what you truly want?
Drop me a comment in the box below.
To your success,
p.s. This post is an excerpt from my podcast: Q Your Business Success. Listen to the full audio version, here.