Often, we’re our own critics –– even after acing 99 tasks out of 100, we tend to hyperfocus on the one task we couldn’t get done.
But this is absolutely normal. Taking on more responsibility in our personal and professional lives often leads to self-doubt and fear — especially if we have to acquire new skills.
Sometimes, we “fake it till we make it,” which we definitely shouldn’t. Doing so leads to imposter syndrome (sometimes spelled “impostor syndrome”) — we let our insecurities overpower our accomplishments, and we believe we don’t deserve accolades or aren’t working hard enough to achieve our goals.
Do you think self-doubt is taking over your life? Seek help from an imposter syndrome coach who will help you regain confidence and value your capabilities.
Here’s everything you need to know about imposter syndrome, how a coach can help, and how to enter a program with an open mind.
What is imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is the inability to recognize your efforts and triumphs. Perhaps you’ve been sensing insecurity, self-doubt, or dissatisfaction around your accomplishments and questioning why you can’t enjoy them. You might constantly feel that someone will “find out” about your incompetence –– even when you are great at your job.
Here are a few signs you might be suffering from imposter syndrome:
- You’re a perfectionist: While aiming to get everything right is great, being overly critical of your performance is a red flag. You think you don’t deserve your position, responsibilities, or accolades if your work is even a tad short of excellence. You might even be overachieving because you believe it will make you more worthy of recognition.
- You attribute external factors to your success: Sure, earning a degree from a reputable institution makes you a better candidate, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get your dream job. Sometimes, even with proper training, credentials, and even exceptional luck, you miss the mark. But that doesn’t question your education or talent. Alternatively, if you’re performing well at work or in other areas of your life, it’s because you’re making an effort, and there’s a solid reason for that upward trajectory.
- You feel like a fraud: Even if you’re great at your job and won awards to prove it, you might feel you’re cheating the world and that someone else is better than you. However, this negativity only exists in your head, and you deserve every bit of appreciation you receive.
- You fear getting noticed: If you’re invited to give a public presentation, you feel the confidence dwindling. You may overthink repercussions and ponder a lot of what ifs –– what if I say something wrong, what if I can’t answer a person’s question, or what if people judge me for my incorrect pronunciations? But, if you thoroughly know the presentation topic, you’ll be able to answer questions and educate people.
What causes imposter syndrome?
You might know a colleague who seems to have an unlimited source of self-confidence and wonder why you can’t be like them. Don’t drag yourself down. Imposter syndrome is common, and several factors contribute to it. Here are just a few:
- Your childhood: If you grew up in an environment focused on achievement or perfectionism, you might experience imposter syndrome as an adult. That’s because even if you achieve bigger goals, the joy you feel doesn’t last. You may also experience extreme fear of failure.
- Social anxiety: Changing environments, such as starting a new job, can make you feel like an outsider and trigger insecurity. You assume you don’t belong even though you make valuable contributions.
- Your personality traits: If you have low self-esteem, you may not appropriately value your achievements. You criticize your work at all levels and agonize over results. You constantly feel you’re never “good enough” and under-confident about your efforts.
How to help someone with imposter syndrome
Coaches focus on helping clients discover solutions for living better in the present. A coaching program’s ultimate goal is personal growth, and coaches work hard to provide tools to overcome whatever issue you’re experiencing.
In the case of imposter syndrome coaching, a client seeks to identify their achievements and feel like they deserve these successes. Coaches help clients question whether harboring negative thoughts is helpful or productive. The client examines how the imposter that lives inside of them is wrong by assessing why they deserve all their achievements.
How to get the most out of imposter syndrome coaching
A coaching program aims to encourage you to change your life, which is never easy. Anyone considering seeking this type of coaching should be open to the process and aware of what it entails. Here’s how you can prepare yourself for the best experience possible with an imposter syndrome coaching program:
- Be self-aware: Get ready to challenge some hard-set limiting beliefs. You’re capable of tackling imposter syndrome, but you’ll need to question the inner critic, reframe your outlook, and be open to viewing your accomplishments in a new light.
- Be kind to yourself: Yes, you’ll need to ask yourself hard questions while working with your coach, but admitting you have imposter syndrome and that it’s not helpful to your life is okay—there’s no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed. Many people, even some of the most high-achieving individuals, suffer from imposter syndrome. But you’re acknowledging the inner demon and taking the first step to freedom, which should help you feel empowered. Remember that you’re in the process of evolving, learning, and becoming the best version of yourself –– be proud.
- Accept uncertainty: You don’t need to have all the answers. That’s why you’re seeking a coach’s help. Be open to getting out of your comfort zone, learning something new through this experience, and coming out of it in a better place than the one you’re in today. Keep in mind that you may not learn what you expect. Don’t overthink, and be receptive to modifications. Specific assumptions about how your sessions will go or the coaching program’s outcome might limit your growth.
- Move out of your comfort zone: If you have imposter syndrome, you’re uncomfortable admitting your successes and that you deserve them. And your coaching program on getting over imposter syndrome will help you challenge these beliefs. Your coach may ask you to “brag” about your accomplishments on your résumé or in a journal –– expose yourself to self-acknowledgment.
Learn more about coaching with Practice
Remember, you’re great at your job, so don’t underestimate your value.
Seek help from an impostor syndrome coach, and turn those inner demons into gratitude –– you’re an achiever who deserves to be applauded. Acknowledge your growth and feel proud of yourself for accomplishing those tough targets.
And, if you’re looking for motivation, head over to Practice’s blog. We have a wealth of how-to articles and the different niches in the field, providing important resources for both seeking a coach or aspiring to be one. Try us today.