Overcoming imposter syndrome
Listed Under: Blogs
Why it’s important to focus on your greatest hits
At Zentano we find music, films or comedy are great ways for us to unwind after a busy week. A good tune, a cracking yarn or a good laugh are for many people easy ways to de-stress and relax.
For example, Tommy Cooper was for many people a bit of a comedy genius with his quips and one-liners. You know the sort of thing ‘My wife had a bad habit of biting her nails, but I cured her. I hid her teeth’ or ‘So I said to the Gym instructor "Can you teach me to do the splits?". He said, "How flexible are you?". I said, "I can't make Tuesdays’.
Behind the façade however was a man who suffered from what these days we call imposter syndrome. It is something that is incredibly common and can cause people great amounts of stress.
Have you ever thought to yourself “I feel like a fake”, “I just got lucky” or “I am not sure what all the fuss is about”? If so, then it’s possible that you might be experiencing imposter syndrome.
Who does it affect?
Imposter syndrome can hit anyone no matter what your gender, race, age, social background or profession. You might find this a paradox, but it often occurs in people who are highly skilled or accomplished at something. They tend to think others are just as skilled or accomplished as they are and feel they are unworthy of any compliments or praise that comes their way. This can spiral into feelings that they don’t deserve the opportunities they get offered over other people or that people are just being nice but don’t really mean it.
What people often fail to realise is that they are not alone. Imposter syndrome is very common. We can spend lots of time and energy wrestling with our self-doubt and convincing ourselves that we are alone because no one else voices their own thoughts.
How can I begin to overcome imposter syndrome?
First up you need to verbalise your thoughts to someone you trust, ideally a good listener and who is non-judgmental.
This can be hugely empowering as it begins a process of lowering the volume of your inner critic, the one that is shouting inside your head and impeding your progression. Surely this isn’t an easy thing to do I hear you say? It is true that many people hesitate to share how they feel as they fear the feedback they receive from others will only confirm their concerns.
What we have found on a great many occasions however is that when people discuss their experience of feeling like they don’t fit in and that others around them have felt the same way in the past, it can feel like a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders.
Our second tip is to collect your positive experiences or as we call it focus on your “Greatest Hits”. Imagine you were asked to create a photo album of the 5 things you are most proud of in your life. What images spring to mind? What is it you are proud of and why does this matter to you
Restoring a sense of balance
Tapping into that sense of personal fulfilment is important so that you create a sense of balance. It is very easy to ignore any praise, plaudits and compliments that we receive for our work and to focus only on the criticism. The next time someone starts to sing your praises, allow yourself to truly appreciate what is being said.
By focusing on and periodically revisiting positive feedback and by making a real effort to listen to and reflect on words of encouragement, we can help soothe our anxieties the next time self-doubt and your inner critic begin to take hold.
At Zentano we firmly believe that confidence is a huge part of what makes us perform well and feel a sense of well-being and satisfaction. Our level of confidence however is one of those things we need to manage because life experiences will cause it to ebb and flow, up and down. Sometimes we just need to point it in the right direction.
For more information on how to manage your confidence levels please get in touch, we have all been there with imposter syndrome in the past and would love to help.