Something Has a Hold on Me, and It Ain’t Love – Imposter Syndrome?
Something has a hold on me. I don’t know what it is. It seems as soon as my obligation to be in a program was to blog. I began to have; mental blocks. Even my sense of wonder suffered. What I planned to do was make videos. But In two weeks, I’ve made only two. Maybe I should make lists of what I’m going to do each day. I did that and this malaise still lingered.
Why am I sabotaging myself?
I deserve to be successful. I deserve to have a following to my blogs, as much as anyone else. What is this? On the heels of some very exciting successes, I'm depleted. What the heck is this?
Descriptive words are getting in my way. Who am I? What do I want? I just wish it were easier to see myself. If other more famous people who were celebrities had the feeling of being a fraud, why do I think I should be exempt from it?
Ok, so this is something that happens. It’s a normal happening. Just deal with it and talk myself out of it. It’s something within me that has become a habit that I must break.
All I know is this feeling has got to get out of the way. How do I use this feeling to help others?
Look for examples.
This phenomenon is so common that it has a name “Imposter Syndrome”. And it is not gender specific either.
“This phenomenon was first documented in a study conducted by psychology professor Pauline Clance and psychologist Suzanne Imes called "The Impostor Phenomenon among High Achieving Women" (1978). But the syndrome is not limited to women. Many very successful men also claim to suffer from the feelings of being a fraud. The actor Mike Myers is quoted as saying, "I still believe that at any time the No-Talent Police will come and arrest me." Pulitzer Prize-nominee Maya Angelou, television's most successful female writer/actor/producer Tina Fey, and Meryl Streep have all admitted feeling that their lack of talent would soon be discovered.”
There is comfort in knowing that I’m not the only person that goes through feeling this way. But what do I do about it?
Dr, Valerie Young advises:
Ten ways to stop feeling like a fraud (imposter syndrome)
1 Break the silence. Fessing up can be a tremendous freeing agent.
2 Separate feelings from fact. Realize that just because you feel something like ‘feeling stupid’ doesn’t mean that you are.
3 Recognize when you should feel fraudulent. If you are one of the ‘firsts’ it is perfectly normal to feel like an outsider. You are not inept, otherwise you would not have secure your position.
4 even though perfectionism can indicate a healthy drive to ecel, the trick is to not obsess over every little detal.
5 Develop a new response to failure and mistake making. Henry Ford once said “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” Do what professional athletes do and glean the learning value from the mistake and move on.
6 Right the rules. If you feel as if you should always know the answer, or that you should never ask for help—scratch those rules.
7 Develop a new script. Reassure yourself “Everyone who starts something new feels off-base in the beginning. I may not know all the answers but I’m smart enough to find them out.”
8 Visualize success. Really see yourself accomplishing whatever it is you need to do. Make a presentation, in my case write each and every day.
9 Reward yourself. Break the cycle of continually seeking – and then dismissing – validation outside of yourself by learning to pat yourself on the back. (I would just qualify that with accept the praise or compliment and be grateful for it. Not that you are in need of it, but that you can accept it graciously.)
10 Fake it ‘til you make it. (Sometimes we need to ‘act’ as if we have the confidence we do not feel at the moment. We do not want to out and out lie. “I make thousands of dollars at this venture”. But you do want to be confident about the potential. Testimonies of trusted friends come in very handy. Become adept at highlighting the compensation scenario confidently along with the disclaimer. “The results are not typical, but we give a 30 day money back guarantee if you are dissatisfied for any reason.”)
Portions of the aforementioned at: http://www.unc.edu/opt-ed/events/alliance_day/09/presentations/gradashby.pdf
Keep your eye on the prize of your success “Why”. Remember you deserve all that you attain. You deserve each successful leap over every obstacle on your journey to your “Why”. Nothing puts those fraudulent feelings out of your mind like focusing on your goals and working towards them. Imposter syndrome can be addressed positively.