Self-help books can be annoying. I write them and they annoy me too. Especially those that promise the earth, that guarantee they can fix your problem in five minutes. If you have been carrying around your imposter syndrome for a lifetime, I can’t promise that you will shake it off with a flick of your hair or a snap of your fingers. I can promise that if you are suffering through this awful curse of feeling that you are not worthy, there is a way to feel better. It doesn’t happen overnight. I am a practitioner of a range of techniques that work really well. They can be life changing. I have helped people work through issues that have dogged them for decades, yet they still sometimes need a top-up or a reminder they are good enough, that they can do it, and that there are actions they can take to deal with the feelings that arise. I have also worked with people who have had to change their life after dramatic changes in circumstances, often reinventing themselves. I know that wherever you have been and however you have judged yourself up to this point, you can change for the better and move forward.
I’m glad that we have a name for this thing now. If I’m talking in a group and mention the concept of imposter syndrome, it’s common for at least half of those present to relate to the idea, to claim it as their own and sometimes for someone to say, “Oh, wow! That’s a thing? I thought it was just me.” It’s not a disease that needs a diagnosis, and everyone’s experience will be different. Let’s start with a check-in and then you can see if you think this book will be helpful to you. Check this list and see if any of these give you an ah-ha moment. You might not have these feelings all the time, or in every situation, yet you will know as you read down the list below if I am speaking to you.
Trigger Warning: This list has the potential to make you feel uncomfortable while you are working through it.
You feel judged by other people.
You worry that you come from the wrong: area, family, country, religion, era, school.
That you have the wrong accent.
You feel that people don’t like you—even your friends. You compare yourself and feel that you don’t
You worry that you got your job by accident.
You think everyone else is achieving more than you. You believe that you are the weakest link in your organization.
You think you have been lucky so far and your luck could run out.
You spend a lot of time thinking about what you don’t know and aren’t good at.
You speak negatively about yourself.
You don’t believe that you deserve to be where you are. You don’t always like yourself.
You heard awful things said about you as a child.
You think you need a lot more help to achieve your goals than others.
You worry that you have nothing interesting to say in social settings.
You think your clothes are all wrong.
You worry that you don’t know enough about: current affairs, movies, music, politics, fine food, art.
You worry you don’t know enough—period.
You give your services away for free or reduced price because you aren’t confident you are worth full price. You go away from social interactions worrying that you said or did the wrong thing, that you looked stupid or that you failed.
You accept low standards from other people because you don’t feel you deserve better.
You feel resentful of others because they take advantage of you.
You get paid less than you should and don’t ask for a raise because you think you aren’t worth it.
You think everyone looks better than you.
You feel embarrassed if anyone pays you a compliment. You don’t do small talk as you think no one is interested in what you have to say.
You think other people are smarter than you.
You think people are just being polite when they invite you to events.
You feel that you are usually the least smart person in the room.
You believe that anyone can do what you do and that you are nothing special.
You believe that the only reason you are where you are today is because you are: lucky, got a break, got help, studied hard.
You think it’s probably too late to change.
These feelings and concerns are not true, you just built them up inside your head and had no one to tell you otherwise. I bet you haven’t told many people, have you? You’ve kept this story to yourself or told very few people that you feel like this. You walk around looking confident on the surface, and you don’t tell people that inside you are terrified you will eventually mess up and be exposed as the fraud you are. Because we hide these feelings, we don’t realize how many others are experiencing the same doubts.
Discover why you don’t feel good enough.
How other people are part of the problem and can be ignored.
Uncover and challenge your own lies about yourself. Banish perfectionism and overthinking.
Fix your mindset.
A 28-day program to help you move into confidence.
The reasons we develop these tendencies are varied. As you read further, you might uncover or remember situations, comments, or conversations that have contributed to the way you feel about yourself and your confidence. Equally important, you might recognize things you have said and done that have played a part in others having the same feelings. This is forgivable because you are human. As you learn to recognize the power and potential harm in your words, you can be more cautious. Since I have done work on myself and helped others, I have become mindful of conversations I have had in the past. Although our former actions can be cringeworthy now, we must remember that we are growing and changing, and we must be allowed to forgive ourselves and learn from our mistakes and carelessness.
I hope this preview has helped you to decide if the book may be helpful to you.
Available in Print, Kindle and Audiobook.
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