“Who is that? What is she doing here?”
No, this isn’t a daytime soap opera or reality TV show. These are often the voices in our head that keep us from believing that we belong and that we deserve a seat at the table.
Imposter Syndrome Can Strike Almost Anyone
Often known as the “imposter syndrome,” it strikes the young and the experienced. Some say it is more common in women. All I know is that I have seen it in my clients and in myself – and it almost cost me dearly.
Playing to my strengths made high school easy for me. I even took college-qualifying courses in the wee morning hours of my senior year. I couldn’t wait to get to college and really get to work learning and studying. Maybe you can relate.
I Begin to Doubt My Abilities. Are You Doing the Same?
But as soon as I hit that college campus, I began to doubt my abilities. The doubt started before classes even began. A star in my graduation class of 54 people, my early encounters on campus were causing me to question my abilities. After all these years at the top of the class, the world was going to find out that I really didn’t know that much!
Determined to prove myself, I focused solely on my studies. No more athletics, not much socializing, just study, study, study. I was not going to be found out to be a fraud. Which was exactly how I was feeling…like a fraud. I just couldn’t let that happen.
Now the world is going to know…I don’t know very much. “Why is she here?” they would ask.
Maybe those same voices have been sabotaging your opportunities, too. You know, the ones that say things like:
- You don’t belong here.
- You will never fit in.
- They’ll know you’re a fake.
- What if they find out you’re a fraud?
- Everyone can see right through you.
Is Imposter Syndrome Causing You to Limit Your Opportunities?
After that trying first semester, something clicked. If someone shared insight with me, I wish I remembered it. The simple fact that things were not working out – less than stellar grades, shrinking funds for college and a social being holed up in a dorm room – all drove me to action.
The result? Greater confidence, a loosening of the grip on study hours and voila! Better grades, a fatter wallet and an improved social life. Take that, imposter syndrome!
Ask yourself (and be honest please!):
- Where are you limiting yourself by judging that you don’t belong?
- Do you take the seat away from the table, around the perimeter of the conference room, because you think “what is she doing here?”
- Are you holding back from claiming your highest and best opportunities because you doubt yourself?
The result might not be as dramatic as flunking out of college, but you can certainly flunk out of your professional life and wonder “what happened?”
Imposter syndrome can keep you from taking that seat at the table – and it can seriously limit your opportunities and sabotage your success.
Don’t let that happen to you. Get in the game with this FREE 45-minute webinar that will inspire you to move beyond your limits.