Are you secretly afraid that you are a fraud and that people will find out every moment?
If this is true, you are 66 percent of women and 56 percent of men * who suffer from impostor syndrome.
Impostor syndrome is not, in fact, & # 39; syndrome & # 39; in a clinical sense, but rather a term devised to describe these haunting uncertainties.
Here, hypnotherapist and fear expert Chloe Brotheridge reveals how the condition undermines our confidence – and the best way to tackle it.
Impostor syndrome is not, in fact, & # 39; syndrome & # 39; in a clinical sense, but rather a term devised to describe these haunting uncertainties
A classic sign of impostor syndrome is the depreciation of your successes as luck.
You've blamed it all this time, haven't you! You bluffed your way to a 2: 1 in college, you did a job interview, managed to fool everyone at work for 10 years that you're not a chancer … Oh, and having friends is also pure blind luck!
We hear the term impostor syndrome more often because more and more people realize that this condition is quietly undermining their confidence.
It is characterized by not feeling good enough, by self-doubt and the feeling that you are a fraudster about to be discovered and lacked.
Hypnotherapist and fear expert Chloe Brotheridge reveals how the condition undermines our confidence – and the best way to tackle it
But the good news? If you are concerned that you may be fraudulent; the chance is high, you are not.
Just as psychopaths never worry that they are psychopaths (a real psychopath would not worry about that!), A real & # 39; cheater & # 39; doesn't worry if they are one or not.
Chances are it is just doubting yourself and not a reflection of your real possibilities.
I myself experienced an impostor syndrome attack in the weeks prior to my first book, the bestseller The Anxiety Solution.
Suddenly I was worried about whether I knew enough to write a book about fear. & # 39; Who was I to write this book? & # 39; I asked myself.
Chloe admitted that she had experienced a period of impostor syndrome in the weeks prior to her first book to be released
& # 39; What did I know? I was not perfect and I did not have all the answers. Everyone on the street would know more about fear than I do! & # 39;
I can laugh about it now, but then I had to step back and give myself a serious peptalk, reminding myself of everything I had learned and everyone I had helped.
Perhaps the most surprising thing is that it is something that probably affects the most flying, successful women.
When other successful people surround you, the standards are incredibly high and there is little room for failure, which can increase a sense of inadequacy.
Chloe & # 39; s latest book Brave New Girl: 7 Steps to Confidence is now on sale
But why does this affect so many people? Like so many things, we will probably find the answer when we look at our youth.
Were your parents hyper-critical? Having critical parents for whom nothing is ever good can mean that you grow up with doubts about yourself and your skills.
Clients tell me time and again that their parents, as teenagers, wanted to know why they only got As and not A * s in their exams.
You may have received praise for being a & # 39; good & # 39; girl or boy growing up, and now feel under pressure to be perfect, never feeling it is okay to fail.
Working in a male-dominated industry as a woman or being part of a minority group can also stir up this kind of doubt.
It is easy to think that smart, successful, talented celebrities must have strong confidence. But peeling under the surface and self-doubt can still be rampant, despite how certain they look on the surface.
Michelle Obama admitted experiencing the impostor syndrome in an interview with author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie earlier this year at the Southbank Center. & # 39; I still have a little (bit of) impostor syndrome, & # 39; she said. & # 39; It never goes away. & # 39;
Actor David Tennant and singer Alesha Dixon have both also known that they are suffering, so you are in good company.
Struggling with impostor syndrome? Here are three simple but powerful ways to overcome it
1. When a negative thought comes to mind that questions your abilities, ask yourself: is that really true? Just because we have a thought, it doesn't make it a fact. What is the proof that you are indeed good enough and worthy of what you have achieved?
2. Don't let the impostor syndrome stop you. Pay attention to the doubts but take action. Van Gough reportedly said: & # 39; If you hear a voice in yourself say: & # 39; you can't paint & # 39 ;, that means paint anyway, and that voice will be silenced. & # 39; Nothing calms the inner critic more than proving that it is wrong, so continue with that business idea, speak in that meeting and ask for that increase.
3. Many people with impostor syndrome pass on their achievements as happiness. Take the honor for the good things in your life instead. What skills and capacities do you have in that promotion? What does it mean to you that you have a large group of friends? How can you give yourself the honor of maintaining a successful marriage for as long as you have done so? Celebrate and take possession of your successes and you will be on your way to feeling more confident.
Chloe has written two books – The Anxiety Solution, and her latest book, Brave New Girl: 7 Steps to Confidence, now on sale on Amazon for £ 12.99.
* Figures according to an Access Commercial Finance report.
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