They’re not going to find you out because there’s nothing to find out.Your brain just thinks there is.
Here’s what’s really going on when you have thoughts like that.
For many years at work, I had the feeling of well, fear, that I experienced regularly.
The feeling came from a thought that sounded something like this one:
‘What if they find out that I’m not as up to it, as they think I am?’.
This thought drove me to people pleasing, perfectionist behaviour whereby I put all my efforts into trying to fail-proof my output so as to minimise my fear that, this time, at least, it wouldn’t be the time that my inadequacies were exposed.
My clients come to me with their own version of what I now know to be Imposter Syndrome all the time.
It comes in all different flavours the variety is extensive but it might sound like this:‘I’m worried about making a mistake and they’ll see I’m not smart/good enough’.
Or this:‘I only got where I am by working extremely hard’.
This in particular is a very sneaky one. It sounds like you’re giving yourself kudos for being a hard worker but you’re basically saying that you’re inferior and without very hard work wouldn’t have got where you are. I know this one very well because this was one I had very often.
Or this:‘I only got this job because they needed a woman in the position / because of who I knew / because of chance / luck’.
Imposter syndrome is nothing more than a collection of habits and beliefs you have about yourself.
You’ve thought them so many times, they feel true.
What’s crazy is that what makes you feel like an imposter might be exactly what someone else thinks they would need, in order not to feel like an imposter. For example: you might think that if only you’d gone to the ‘right school’, you would have an amazing network and you wouldn’t feel inferior when you went to networking events. At the very same event, your colleague who did go to the right school is feeling inferior exactly because she knows some people from school in the room, but she’s never learned how to network. She doesn’t step forward and spread out her network when she has the opportunity to do so. She’s watching you walk up to people and introduce yourself and wishing she was able to do that and feeling inadequate for not being able to.
Imposter syndrome is a distraction to working at the level you would like to work at.
It results in you putting a lot of pressure in yourself to create the illusion of being something you’re not, because you’re afraid that what you are isn’t good enough.
I really believe that at least 90% of emails sent between 10pm and 11pm from sofas, or home offices, and the immediate – like within 5 seconds, responses to such emails – are bred out of one or another form of Imposter Syndrome.
Seeing the pattern isn’t enough to disrupt it, you need to dig in and really pull out the thoughts you have that are causing you to continue to think in this cycle. I’ve prepared a worksheet that brings you through the solution, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your copy of the worksheet and I’ll have it sent over to you right away.