I was at a networking event last week and the topic of Imposter Syndrome came up in conversation.
Some estimates suggest that around 70 percent of us will go through a period of self-doubt at least once in our lives.
Many people with impostor syndrome will tend to focus on their mistakes rather than their successes, or on what they don’t know rather than what they do know and one of the most common impostor syndrome thoughts is an overwhelming fear that one day you’ll be exposed as a fraud.
If this is how you feel then you’ll never really achieve your full potential. When you do achieve something, you become more convinced that you’re a fraud. So eventually you may avoid taking on any new responsibilities or projects, plus you may revise your overall goals and become less ambitious in general. Imposter Syndrome sabotages our success and yet high achievers are the ones most likely to experience it.
Albert Einstein is the most famous person to experience Imposter Syndrome, yet he managed to change the world! He once famously confided in a friend:
“The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler”.
Over 60% of women suffer from Imposter Syndrome in the UK and millennials appear to be particularly prone.
It also affects one in five small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners, according to a recent AXA PPP healthcare study of 1,000 people.
New research by NatWest has found 60% of women have considered starting their own business but haven’t due to feelings commonly associated with imposter syndrome.
So if you’re working on your own, or the buck stops with you as a business owner and there’s no one to support and reassure you, maybe it’s time to find a business coach to support you, challenge your thinking, hold you accountable for taking action and tell you that you’re not a fraud.
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