Embracing My Imposter (Syndrome)

Psst. Let me tell you a secret. I am not who you think I am.

On the outside, I am a high-achieving, driven and successful woman who left corporate America to start her own business and is thriving.

On the inside, I second-guessing decisions, compare myself to the success of others and always trying to figure out what else I need to do to be more successful.

I had Imposter Syndrome.

Did you notice, I said I had Imposter Syndrome—past tense.  I’m not going to give you the magic formula for slaying the Imposter Syndrome dragon. Instead, I am going to share with you my ( unpopular) perspective on why I named her (Rose), thank her often and embrace her fully. I recognize she isn't going away, so let's welcome her when she visits.

This is a contradictory idea, but one I believe in wholeheartedly. When I look at all the times that Rose comes out, it usually is representative of something else, something bigger. Rose, shows her face when I am stepping into a situation that is outside of what I do on a daily basis. When I am in my comfort zone, I am all Jackie all the time. When I stick more than my big toe into unchartered territory, Rose sneaks in the back door. 

I am self-aware enough to know that stretching myself is good for me, it makes me more creative, smarter and increases my resilience. Rose shows her face when I am ill-prepared or challenging myself.

It could be any work (or personal) scenario, where I'm uncomfortable.  What I then need to recognize is she here because I am unprepared heading into the situation (then I need to think about how to gather more information) or is it based in fear (something new, different, uncomfortable)

I will admit, Rose peeks her head in when I sign on a new client. She questions if I am good enough, smart enough and trained enough to help my client achieve their ultimate goals. For some, this can be debilitating, for me, it actually pushes me to be better, strive harder and accept the challenge because I don't want Rose to stay long nor to be right.

Once I have overcome any self-doubt and accomplished said task, I spend time basking in that moment of my success.  Because guess what, by doing so, we actually start to embed different patterns in our brains and build evidence contradicting Rose. 

According to the International Journal of Behavioral Science, 70% of people suffer from Imposter Syndrome.  So, almost everyone has bouts of insecurity and self-doubt.  
Hmmm. Sounds human to me.

So the next time you feel like an imposter, nod your head to the inner voice, dig into why you feel this way, then smile big, stand up tall and adjust your invisible crown. You're a queen.

Marissa Bishop