Imposter Syndrome: Friend or enemy?

March 16

Imposter syndrome is often seen as a negative thing. I keep seeing advice such as how to ‘conquer’, ‘control’ or ‘crush’ your imposter voice. 

That might work for some people. But not me, nor my clients. 

It positions self-doubt as something we should aim to get rid of, stop or reduce. It views it as an enemy. These are old school, masculine approaches which in my experience, lead to more self-doubt, stress and unhappiness. 

There is an entirely different way you can view your imposter voice of doubt. One which enables you to embrace, harness it and use it as a position of strength and authenticity. 

Because let's be honest, feeling like a fraud, worrying whether you're good enough or comparing yourself to others, doesn't go away. 

Twitch CEO said:

What if I told you that I felt like a failure even after selling Twitch for a billion dollars? This is for anyone experiencing impostor syndrome.

You might be thinking… what do you mean it doesn’t go away? I can’t continue like this. And that would be a reasonable reaction. 

Who would want to continue suffering and struggling with self-doubt and negative thoughts? Why would you accept that not feeling good enough or thinking you’re a failure is not acceptable? 

That’s because you will be looking at it through the lens of how you currently view your imposter syndrome, right now. Something that is intolerable and limiting.

Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts.’, said Allan Lokos. And that’s true. 

Henry Ford was also right when he said: ‘Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right‘. 

In other words, whatever you believe about imposter syndrome, you’re right. 

Everyone has the power to change they way they look at something. And ‘when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change‘ – Wayne Dyer. 

Here are 10 things that might help you change the way you look at imposter syndrome and see it as a gift, rather than a hinderance:

  1. Nobody knows what they’re doing: people are genuinely making it up as they go along. 
  2. You are not good enough: you’re already more than enough. Be the thing only you can be good at: being you.
  3. Just do it anyway: despite what your imposter says. Acknowledge and say thanks first though.
  4. The humble imposter: Not knowing something doesn’t make you a fraud. It makes you curious and humble. The cocksure are stupid. It’s the intelligent that vibrants self-doubt. Humble doesn’t mean silence either, it means putting yourself out there in your own authentic way. 
  5. Fake it until you make it: Amy Cuddy is right. Fake it like everyone else. 
  6. I don’t deserve this: Your imposter thinks you don’t deserve success. So it’s a good thing that you’re not your imposter voice. 
  7. Growth begins from starting: everyone has to start somewhere. It’s failure and success that helps progress. 
  8. I can’t to… I can: You can’t stop the ‘I can’t’ imposter voice. But you can use it as a reminder for what ‘you can’ do in this moment. And that is whatever you want to do.
  9. Fear is your task: Fear fuels avoidance, if you listen to your imposter. Fear will always be present. So instead, lean in and face it with acceptance and compassion.
  10. Name it and befriend it: Who needs more enemies? Give your imposter a name to remind yourself you are not your thoughts. Befriend it as a reminder that you can do wonderful things together.

Is there anything else you would add to this list? I am hoping that there may be one or two things that you can use to help your embrace and harness imposter syndrome. When you embrace it, you can fuel incredible career success. 

You are more than welcome to join my live webinar on how to use imposter syndrome to unleash your personal and professional potential. It is a deeper dive into everything discussed above. 

You can click here to sign up.


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