Updated: Aug 24, 2021
As a Business and Confidence coach I speak to women all day every day about what vision they have for the future and what 'things' may be holding them back. I have heard them all, and I can totally empathise with every single one of them. In fact, objectively holding the space for you and challenging those 'things' with a complete open mind can be the hardest part of my job.
This is because I wholeheartedly appreciate that the reasons you give feel so palpably real. In fact, until you have someone challenge them and help to reframe them, they ARE real. You make them real.
Sound bananas? Let me share something with you.
When I was in my mid 20's, I was very overweight, unattractive, socially awkward, had zero talent for anything, and I was an all round sad-sack. Life was miserable. People felt sorry for me (which is why they hung around with me). I was so ashamed. It was so painful seeing everyone else thriving in their perfect bodies, knowing exactly what to say and (in every way), doing better than me. Don't get me wrong, I was great at playing the part so no one knew that I KNEW all this, but I continued to trip, fluke and fear my way through life. I seemed to be getting worse at things rather than better, and often (in all honesty) it felt really hopeless.
At the same time, my (now husband) was with this fantastic girl. She was magnetic, statuesque, a great singer/songwriter, confident, she could do anything she turned her hand to. She had a great job and travelled all over, and people loved her! You know the sort. The ones we love to hate! She always seemed to have it all together and she always seemed so happy. I didn't know her then, but I have scrolled back through her social media over the years and I know people who know her well. They all say sickeningly nice things about her.
So why am I sharing this? Well, there's a twist.
I met my husband at 17 and I WAS that girl. I was both these girls. This was my internal and my external reality. I was experiencing chronic Imposter Phenomenon and I got caught in a very toxic spiral that was not going anywhere good.
My husband knew both these girls well. By day, the confident, bubbly, high-achieving me came out to play, and at night, the teary, shamed, broken me sobbed on his shoulder. No amount of rationalising and telling me how great I was helped, because I either believed that I had fooled him, or he was just being nice.
At the time, I had never heard of Imposter Phenomenon (Syndrome) but shortly after we got married, we agreed that seeking some professional help would be a good start. Whatever THIS was, it wasn't nice and it wasn't going!
I worked with a professional for nine months and she really helped me to make sense of how our brains work and to help me to reframe my thoughts. My downward spiral slowly became an upward spiral and over a period of time I was able to turn down the volume on my imposter voice.
She is still there from time-to-time, but I have a solid set of tools to help manage her.
Because of my personal experience with this issue, I developed a deep curiosity for all things personal development. I had so many questions about our brains and our emotions, and the power of our imaginations! This (combined with a background in business and marketing) led me to train and learn everything I could about how to help other women out of this situation and to blossom in their businesses. Now, helping other women to overcome their imposter challenges is a true tonic for me.
If you want to talk to us about your imposter syndrome, why not book a free appointment with us today. We will listen and offer practical advice to help you and your business thrive. We offer a 1 hour appointment with no obligation, absolutely free. So you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain!