Self-Confidence in the age of Imposter Syndrome

confidenceIf you looked up self-confidence in a dictionary, it would say something about self-assurance, trusting your own judgments, abilities and so forth.

This sounds to be like the antidote to imposter syndrome, which in our current society is somewhat of a pandemic.

So often I hear from clients, friends and colleagues that they feel as if they “don’t have it together”, or “don’t really know what they are doing”.

And it gets worse when you talk to people with high-powered jobs. That pressure seems to amplify feelings of not being worthy of their job title, or that they don’t really deserve their success.

Is this sounding familiar?

Then, just for fun, lets add on some peer pressure from social media. We see our friends with their Instagram-perfect lives, and we feel inferior to them. However, behind the filtered images of your friends’ accounts, they are most likely feeling quite similar to you.

Some people even use their social media accounts to portray the image they think they need to have, while feeling like imposters behind the scenes.

So with all the background noise of peer pressure, imposter syndrome and work-related pressures – can we claim back our self-confidence?

Well yes, I absolutely know that we can, and I have a few tips for you to try…

Tip 1 – Understand that it’s all just ‘in our heads’

That’s right – ‘our’ heads; not just your head! Many people feel this way, and we all just do our best to hide it from each other.

This is a side-effect of the illusion we all seem to be under. You know the one; the illusion that convinces us that we need to do, be and have it all.

So a bit like in the movie, The Matrix, it’s all about being able to see the illusion for what it is. When you start to feel unworthy or like an imposter, just remember that it’s not true. We are all just human beings doing the best we can.

Tip 2 – Flip the script

You know that story that’s always running in your head? Yes, that one; the gothic fairy tale full of doom and gloom. Did you know that you could re-write that into something positive and self-affirming?

The constant chattering of your mind can be consciously intercepted at any time. You can, through practice, learn to recognize when you are telling yourself a gloomy tale, and replace it with something more helpful.

So how about writing yourself a more confident role?

Tip 3 – Don’t buy into the ‘imposter syndrome’ game

When we are wrapped up in imposter syndrome, being ‘caught out’ can feel like the worst thing in the world… so don’t buy into that.

Learn to be okay with not knowing everything, and not ‘getting it right’ all the time.

When you make a mistake, own it, proudly! Admit it, learn from it, and make a plan to move forwards. This is so much more empowering than trying to hide from it, or make an excuse.

Just hold your head up and be a proud, imperfect human being.

I hope you find these tips helpful, and if you need any help implementing them, then reach out to me for a consultation.

2 thoughts on “Self-Confidence in the age of Imposter Syndrome”

  1. Your observations about not feeling up to the job stopped me in my tracks. I’ve spent half my career wondering when my clients/employers would cotton on to me making it up as I go along. ‘Imposter syndrome’ is apt. It’s a great reassurance to realize ‘it’s not me’. Thanks Toni.

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