IMPOSTER SYNDROME - Issue #8
Because we're not going to let this beat us!
Hello there and welcome back!
It’s great to have you here, and if this is your first time, then a double-welcome to you! Thank you for subscribing and I hope what you read brings something to your life :).
This issue is wholly devoted to Imposter Syndrome. Because this has dogged me for most of my life, and I’m possibly not the only one, I thought it was time to take a deep dive into it. So, I look at the psychological explanation of it and the newsletter includes two resources that can help you (and me!) knock it on the head. Or at the very least, turn down the volume.
So if you want to do battle with any imposter syndrome that dogs your life, read on:
WHY IT HAPPENS & HOW TO MANAGE IT: The Science bit :)
Research has found that Imposter Syndrome is far more widespread than we thought. Even men are now admitting to suffering from it. Research has shown that up to 82% of us suffer from it at some point, whether that’s long or short term.
As a sufferer myself, I was interested to look into the psychological aspect of why it happens, how many others suffer from it and what measures can be employed to rid yourself of it. So, during a research dive on the net, I found an article from Psychology Today that looks at the scientific explanation, with some down to earth tips about how to get over it. This worthwhile article talks about methods you can use to try and start to dismantle the stranglehold the phenomenon has on you. It suggests things such as
Strongly reflecting on your own concrete achievements. Try logging down three things you did well every evening before bed for a period of a month or two and see how you feel about yourself then.
Talking the situation over with someone you trust who is removed from the situation to get another, more balanced view of things.
There’s a whole raft of other useful information in the article, which you can read here
EVEN CELEBS SUFFER FROM IT!
On thing that’s comforting about Imposter Syndrome is that it can even hit the women we tend to hold in high esteem. For instance, would you believe that Michelle Obama suffered from it when she first attended Princeton. In the article she explains how she managed to stop it from precluding her from achieving her dreams (which, given what she has achieved, makes you think she was a tad successful in this)
“I decided to put my head down and let my work speak for itself. I felt like I had something to prove because of the colour of my skin and the shape of my body, but I had to get out of my own way.” Michelle Obama
Stylist magazine recently published a list of 12 successful women in public life who admitted to suffering from Imposter Syndrome. Like Michelle above, you’ll be surprised who admits to being affected by this monster. Read the full list here
A COUPLE OF SOLUTIONS :)
Back in 2012, Dr Amy Cuddy gave a ground-breaking TED talk on how your body posture could literally change your brain chemicals for the better and make you feel and act more confident and powerful. The video of her talk went viral and became the definitive in how to enhance how you feel about yourself. Then, some negative press threatened to disprove Amy’s theory and shouted loudly about it. So, bless her, Amy went back to the drawing board and double-checked her findings only to find that yes, she was absolutely right with even more scientific proof to back it up.
In the following video, you can watch Dr Cuddy’s original theory delivered by the lady herself. The video is just over 20 minutes long, and she spends the first 8 minutes explaining the syndrome. From 8 minutes onwards she offers solutions and suggestions to slay it, along with getting a tad emotional when she talks about a student of hers who mirrored her own experiences. Definitely worth a watch with a brew :)
In the darkest days of lockdown last year, I recorded an episode of the 45NotOut podcast with Debbie Hayes who is a clarity coach, EFT, TEDx speaker and author. In the episode Debbie talked about methods we can use to help ourselves feel better about ourselves, and of course this included demolishing Imposter Syndrome. Debbie outlined some easy and uplifting exercises to do with yourself to change the default image you have of yourself. I recently re-listened to the episode and I’d forgotten what an inspiring listen it is - I learnt stuff I’d totally forgotten about. At just over 45 minutes long, it’s one to listen to when you’re walking the dog or during your lunch hour etc. You can listen here - enjoy!
So there you have it - Issue 8 done and dusted. I hope I’ve included something that resonates with you and allows you to take the next step. If you have enjoyed it and think you know someone who might also enjoy it, I’d love it if you would share it with them. After all, there’s power in numbers! You can do this on the button here:
In the meantime, all that’s left me to do is to thank you for staying with me this far, and to wish you health, strength and safety as we manoeuvre through the remaining weeks of this time of social distancing.
Until a fortnight’s time, then