There were moments when I felt that my inner light wasn’t bright enough. There were also times when I felt the need to Dim my Light to fit in, and not attract attention to myself or make others feel threatened. I didn’t feel qualified enough to stand on certain platforms, mainly because I felt my own life had to reflect an image of perfection before I could consider myself an authority to speak on certain matters. I dodged and dived opportunities, and even self-sabotaged. I wasn’t being my authentic self. I was walking away, feeling like a sham, with “fake” written across my forehead. At the time, I didn’t realise that what I was feeling was “imposter syndrome”. Impostor Syndrome is a term that describes the overwhelming feeling that you don’t deserve your success and the fear that one day you’ll be exposed as a fraud. This belief is not measured by your proven success; instead, you convince yourself that your achievements come down to luck and being in the right place at the right time, instead of believing that you deserve your success because of your intelligence, creativity or talent.
Imposter Syndrome can be related to other feelings related to self-doubt, fear of success, fear of failure, or self-sabotage. But it’s not merely another symptom of low self-confidence or excessive humility. It involves a constant fear of exposure, isolation, and rejection.
Impostor Syndrome often strikes at moments of success: starting a new job, receiving an award or advancement, or taking on extra responsibility such as teaching others, starting your own business, or becoming a first-time parent.
Imposter syndrome is not confined to women. It can occur in anyone who isn’t able to internalize their success. Mastering these feelings depends on how you react to your thoughts. You must reframe your thoughts by asking the correct questions, such as “How does feeling of unworthiness hamper my progress?” These beliefs can inspire you to work harder, so as not to be “unmasked,” and in turn contribute to further success and recognition – and you feeling like an even bigger fraud. But often Imposter Syndrome leads to “downshifting.” This is when you revise your goals and become less ambitious, which in turn prevents you from fulfilling your true potential.
It can be equally helpful to share what you’re feeling with trusted friends or mentors. People who have more experience can reassure you that what you’re experiencing is normal and knowing that others have been in your position can make it seem less scary. If you desire to delve more deeply into these feelings, you can seek professional help.
Most people experience moments of uncertainty. That’s normal. The important part is to not let that doubt control your actions. There will be moments when the feelings of self-doubt resurface, but the goal is to have the proper tools and insights to disengage from them. You will have imposter moments, but you don’t have to live an imposter life.
Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome? Find out by taking this test: