Updated: Mar 7, 2019
Of course, I love the feeling that runs through my entire body when everything goes well: I feel great!
I'm on top of the world and nothing can stop me until... the devil on my left shoulder starts teasing me because of something I saw or heard.
The diabolical shift happened in seconds, it feels like a small electroshock or adrenaline rush.
My mood dramatically shifts from being on top of the world to the bottom of the drain.
This shift is caused by my impostor syndrome waking up.
That’s right, when everything goes according to plans or I’m feeling in the ‘right’ place, my impostor syndrome goes silent, like curled up in a ball somewhere ‘out of my sight‘.
Frustratingly, my impostor syndrome never goes silent for long.
I always find a reason to wake it up. Yes that’s right, I wake it up.
My impostor syndrome wakes up as soon as I start comparing myself to others - always to people more 'successful' than I am of course to make sure the feeling overwhelms me (by the way, I’m not the only one doing this: have a think ;) ). There are many excuses for me to let it happened, however, they all have in common a limiting belief being tickled: the negative self-talk spiral is on: the beast wakes up.
The shift operates the feeling of worthlessness takes over, it hearts deeply as now thoughts are darker and darker, what took weeks, months, years of building confidence is crushed in minutes. Vulnerability is exposed.
How could I imagine that I was smart enough to make this happen or deserved it in the first place?
All my ‘failure’ moments reappear, all the negative memories galop back in my mind and prove me that these verify that I’m not good enough to succeed or achieve my goal.
It is tough as, of course, the impostor syndrome kicks in when you most need support and that badass confidence. Such as when you’re about to speak in front of a room full of people or just because you’re having a tough day and have to keep going.
Even the smallest self-doubt is an opportunity for the impostor syndrome to fire up. This is my reason for calling it greedy.
Personally, the main trigger for my impostor syndrome is the fact that I’m French, even though I moved to the UK more than 15 years ago and worked all my life here, I still think that I’ve to work twice as hard to achieve the same result than if I was still in France.
Of course, when I’m in a top mood and everything goes well: I know it’s irrelevant and I prove it.
While when my impostor syndrome is awake, this is my ‘best‘ excuse to give up and feel miserable.
Now you know you’re not the only one. I’ll give you my tip to tame your impostor syndrome so that when it reaches its darkest stage so that you have a little support mechanism in place and to practice.
Let’s take the fact that I relocated to the UK as an example. Relocating, taught me to adapt and not give up - resilience. I still remember going out with friends and thinking: I have no idea what they are talking about and wonder if I will ever do, if so how many months it will take. I was exhausted and stressed just trying to keep up and remain involved in conversations.
I also clearly remember one of my first jobs involving answering the phone to clients. I was dreading, every single day, the first call I would answer. Now looking back, this horrendous time gave me the ability to listen and support my clients over the phone to the highest standard. I can hear so many things between words that my clients are always surprised and appreciative.
So from here, when your impostor syndrome takes over, stop and think: What woke the feeling up? If you’re about to stand in front of a room full of people: I know you have something to tell the audience. You have not been put here by mistake. Focus on the message you have to tell and who will benefit from it.
Each time you kick your impostor syndrome in the teeth the stronger you get. The best way to get this result is by understanding what woke it up and find positive consequences of you being in this situation, write them down on a piece of paper or tell anyone in your vicinity just to hear yourself say it.
As always practice makes perfect, so when you feel misplaced morally or physically, take the time to focus on the positive outcomes of that specific moment and link the positive outcomes to each other, it will put weight on the scale and shift your mind back to confidence and serenity. There is no coincidence to find.
When you wish to find out how to tame your impostor syndrome, for yourself or someone who might need help, get in touch as there are many ways to overcome it slowly but surely.