Recently, I have been thinking about “imposter syndrome” – i.e. the experience of feeling like a fraud or phony within particular situations. For whatever reason, this condition of being a potential is something that I have experienced at various points throughout my life. Each time it presents itself I am always a bit humbled and entertained by its reappearance.
In short, my humility and humor are sparked not by the fact that I am once again experiencing feelings of inadequacy and fear, but instead are governed by this assumption that I should some how be exempt from ever falling prey to feeling of anxiety, fear, and doubt within particular environments because I know about imposter syndrome.
If only that were the case.
As a side note: I find it interesting that imposter syndrome is quite common amongst individuals that one would think would have no reason to fear expulsion from a particular social setting. That is, it is often experienced by high achievers including doctors, lawyers, professors, public speakers, actors, and individuals who otherwise seem very confident, competent, and self-assured.
While I am coming to accept the very real possibility that I may never fully overcome this tendency to doubt my belonging within a particular setting, I have found that if I am able to remind myself that imposter syndrome is essentially created by nothing more than anxious thoughts, I have the power to create change in my life. And for me, that change begins with the simple recitation of the following mantra I learned long ago from NVC Trainer Miki Kashtan:
“I am worthy. I am enough. I have something to offer.”
I offer this mantra to you to use any time you feel anxious about being expelled as a phony, a fraud or a fake. Internally reciting this mantra with each inhale and exhaling any negative thoughts to the contrary has proved very helpful in allowing me to muster the courage and strength to show up fully within many areas of my life instead of pulling out early out of an unjustified fear of discovery. My hope is that you will find it equally helpful.