Imposter Syndrome, those dreaded two words that so many of us can all relate to. Did you know that research shows that over 6 in 10 women have suffered from Imposter Syndrome, seems crazy doesn’t it! You are not alone in this, and you can overcome this, you are good enough, and you do deserve to be here. This is a mantra we should all be living by, not allowing that self-doubt to creep back in.
Imposter Syndrome can be absolutely crippling and can hold us back in both our personal and our professional lives, it can eat away at us, knocking our confidence on a daily basis. Long term it impacts our mental health, and you can spend your whole life feeling like a fraud, does this sound familiar?
You have a big meeting or presentation coming up, maybe you are delivering a speech on stage, and mentally you are feeling anxious, stressed, even embarrassed. Physically your palms are sweating, you have a headache, maybe an upset stomach, or feeling nauseous and you are already in fight or flight mode. You are working on your escape plan, and have identified all available exits, anything to not feel like a fraud in front of other people.
Stop right there! You do not have to live life like this, you need to take a deep breath, put on those wonder woman pants, and enjoy your moment, you deserve to be in the spotlight, and you earned your place to be here.
Hold your head high
Some of the best advice I can give would be to hold your head high at all times. Remember, if you weren’t good enough for the role, the company would not have hired you. You are there because they saw something in you, and they felt you were the right person for the job. You have the credentials; now let your personality and experience shine through.
Smile, this always shows you to be more confident, and when you smile, people smile back at you. Smiling can also boost your health and lower stress levels, making you feel more relaxed and calm at the moment.
Don’t overthink the task ahead, and be your own cheerleader. If you have stage fright, remember this, the audience does not know the presentation or talk you will be giving word for word. If you make a mistake, the audience will not realise, take a second, compose yourself, and carry on. We are all human, and nobody is perfect.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Stop comparing yourself and your journey in life to others. Everybody needs to start somewhere, and you will be surprised with how many people in your position are also feeling the nerves. Natalie Portman the famous actress went on record to say that she felt she wasn’t smart enough, and felt that she would have to prove that she wasn’t just a dumb actress! Emma Watson gave an interview to say that she feels incredibly uncomfortable when receiving recognition for her acting, and stated: “I feel like an imposter”.
Introduce some relaxation techniques
Lastly, introduce some techniques to help calm your nerves. Take a look online at some simple meditation techniques for deep breathing, or walking meditation, whichever you prefer. Have some power words in your head to refer to, and use the adrenaline to fuel the enjoyment rather than as a stressor. Listen to music and find the perfect song for your stage intro, a song you love, one which makes you feel empowered.
Imposter Syndrome is a part of life and you need to start controlling this challenge, rather than letting it control you. Focus on the rest of that day, the after-party in your head, and how you will celebrate overcoming that challenge. The more you do this, the easier it will become, and Imposter Syndrome will become a thing of the past once and for all.