Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever had that intense feeling that you’re not as good as everyone else, like you’re a phony who’s faking it or a fraud who is going to be ‘found out’ at any moment? Imposter Syndrome causes perfectly competent, skilled people to doubt themselves in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, of their achievements and success.

Imposter Syndrome is the persistent inability to believe that your success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of your efforts. The Imposter Phenomenon, as it is known in psychology, will affect most of us at some point in our lives. It is common in the workplace – around 70% of workers will have it at some point in their careers and it is believed to affect women more than men. A recent survey by KPMG found that 75% of female executives have experienced it. Perfectionism is one of the key drivers of Imposter Syndrome. Many studies have shown that there is no relationship between perfectionistic attitudes towards work and performance, but there is a cost to your wellbeing in the form of burnout as you go into a cycles of diminishing returns.

Some of the key characteristics of Imposter Phenomenon include:

  • Fear that you won’t live up to expectations
  • Perfectionism
  • Inability to realistically assess your competence and skills
  • Berating your performance
  • Attributing your success to external factors
  • Being an overachiever
  • Self-doubt
  • Setting very challenging goals and feeling disappointed when you fall short
  • Self-sabotaging

The Positive Psychology solution to overcome Imposter Syndrome draws on a range of evidence-based techniques to build confidence and cement a positive sense of self.

A typical talk, workshop or webinar would include:

  • What is the Imposter Syndrome – awareness is the first step to the cure
  • Using Optimism to challenge the undermining inner dialogue and bounce back
  • Building Confidence – following the 4 Ms of mastery, mentoring, modelling and mood
  • Knowing your Strengths so that you can base on your self-esteem on something solid
  • Using a Growth Mindset to deal with uncertainty and setback positively.

Please contact Miriam to book this session, which can be adapted to meet your organisational needs.