How to Deal with Impostor Syndrome - amandahunter.net

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How to Deal with Impostor Syndrome

AMANDA HUNTER

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In this episode…

Have you ever looked around a room and thought to yourself…

“I shouldn’t be here? I’m not  qualified enough or I’m not good enough to be here. I’m an impostor?!”

In the episode we’re chatting about Impostor Syndrome; feeling as though you’re a fraud and how you can overcome it!

So let’s dive in!

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Transcript

[00:00:00] Amanda: Welcome to episode 23 of the Heart Driven Hustle podcast.  We’re are your hosts Amanda and Kingsley.

And in this episode, we’re chatting about that feeling you get, when you start to feel as though you’re a fraud. Yep. We’re talking about impostor syndrome and how you can overcome it.

[00:01:00]Kingsley: So have you ever been in a room where you’ve thought, Hmm, should I even be here? I’m not really qualified. I’m not good enough to be here. Am I an impostor?

Amanda: Felt like quite a bit. Yeah. And you’re definitely not alone because I felt it. I’m sure you felt it Kingsley.

Kingsley: Yeah. We’ve all felt it. It’s part of being a human being, I think is second guessing yourself to make sure you don’t make any mistakes.

Amanda: Definitely. It reminds me a bit of Oprah…

You’re an impostor! And you’re an impostor! Everyone’s an impostor! Yeah. It’s something that is very real. And it can happen to all of us. It’s that internal feeling that you just don’t feel quite competent. You’re not feeling as competent as others perceive you to be.

And this is though you are a fraud, but you’re not!

Kingsley: Yeah. Yeah. And like competence or confidence, you can almost kind of interchange it two. Like you may think you’re confident on the inside or competent on the inside, but not confident to kind of share what [00:02:00] you know, sometimes. So it’s, it’s a mix of.

Feelings and emotions that just lead you to be like, ah, I shouldn’t be here right now. I’m not qualified to do this.

Amanda: Yeah. Uh, all these feels! Uh, and the interesting thing is though there’s actually an article, which was put out in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, and it’s an estimated 70% of people who actually experienced these feelings at some point in their lives.

So see, you’re definitely not alone. We’re all frauds. Well, not really.   What exactly is impostor syndrome? It’s this idea that you have succeeded only because of pure luck, rather than based on your talents or skills or abilities.

It’s that idea that you just don’t deserve to be here, which we know you do.

There’s a really great book, actually, that was written by an impostor syndrome expert. Yep. They exist. Her name is Valerie Young and she’s the author of  the Secret Thoughts of Successful Women.

[00:03:00] She actually proposed the following patterns in people   who experienced these impostor feelings.   So listen in and see how many of these you can see in yourself.

First of all, we have the perfectionist. Now, these people are extremely high achievers  and they have extremely high expectations of themselves  and tend to set these extraordinary goals.

Problem is. If they fail to meet one of these goals, even if they’ve achieved 99% of the other goals. But if they just missed that one minor thing, they feel like a complete failure. It seems so silly. Doesn’t it? They tend to question their competence after any small little mistake, regardless of how we’ll have done everything else. Yep. Those perfectionists.

Kingsley: And what about the experts? So these guys feel like they have to know the subject matter a hundred thousand times, a hundred thousand percent of the time.

Amanda: Oh yeah. Inside and out,

Kingsley: inside and out. Thank [00:04:00] you for clarifying that

didn’t even need to be. So these guys, they, they have to know everything. They won’t start even a passion project of anything until they’re a hundred percent sure that they’re qualified to be doing what they need to be doing even if there’s no qualification to be had, they try and seek one out.

It’s kind of like, they, they over-complicate things.

Amanda: Yeah, these are the kinds of people that will never quite start something because they want to do one more qualification or training to improve their skills. I’m guilty of that. I do that all the time. Uh, you’ll also find that these people, these experts.

They’re the ones who are afraid to speak up for fear of being wrong in what they say or looking silly if they don’t know the full answer. And I get this a lot with the women that I’ve mentored, they feel as though they just can’t start getting clients until they’re a subject matter expert. And what I’ll say to them is that we live in [00:05:00] this age, this technological age, where we’re up against Google.

Are you smarter than Google? Nope. I know I’m not, we don’t know the information that’s out there. There is so much information that people have access to at their fingertips. You’ll never know more than Google, but what you can do is you can be really good at being that conduit between the information and the client.

So get really good at knowing how to connect your client with the right information. You don’t need to know at all. If you don’t know the answer then, and there just say so. And it’s so empowering to say, “look, I’m not sure, but I will find that out and I will get back to you” and to simply know how to obtain the information to assist your client, rather than needing to know everything off the top of your head because you feel as though you never know enough and you’ll never get it,

the next kind of person that can suffer from impostor syndrome is the natural genius.   And this is the personality that when they struggle to accomplish something, they [00:06:00] feel inferior. It sounds so silly, but this is because they are so used to everything coming naturally for them, that when they need to put effort in their brain says, look at this it’s because you’re not good enough this is proof that you’re an impostor!

Kingsley: Doesn’t that just sounds so strange that someone that’s so good at everything. As soon as they have a hurdle, they feel like, Oh, I’m an impostor. I shouldn’t be here. It’s it’s counter-intuitive to their genius.

Amanda: It is. Isn’t it. And really that’s what this is all about. The idea of being an impostor or this impostor syndrome.

It’s.

Kingsley: Sneaky sneaks up on you

Amanda: It is! I’m glad you jumped in there. Oh, no, I shouldn’t be here I’m an impostor. I couldn’t think of the word

Kingsley: I tell you who he’s an imposter three months old baby who’s sitting in the corner, goo-goo-gahing every now and again,

Amanda: and he wants to be part of the podcast. Oh, so the next type these are the [00:07:00] soloists and these are the people who are afraid to ask for help.

They feel like they must do everything on their own or else they’re a failure. It’s not to say  they’re not a team player, but they just feel that they have to do it on their own.

And then our last group of people is the superwoman or Superman. We’re not going to discriminate here, so these tend to be overachievers. And they really push themselves. They want to work harder than those around them to prove that they’re not impostors, which seems kind of strange. Doesn’t it. They really strive to succeed and achieve across all areas of their life. It could be work. Play, family, even activities that are meant to be relaxing.

I can yoga better than you can!

And they can feel really stressed out when they’re not accomplishing things.

How many of these do you identify with?

I’ve got a few, quite a few.

Kingsley: I definitely identify with the Superman one. I’m just kidding.

[00:08:00] Amanda: Oh, so where do they come from?

And no one true answer for this. There are a few different suggestions.  it could be something like personality traits. So such as anxiety, low self esteem or self doubt.

They might also be from childhood memories, which have formed your internal feelings and ideas around what success means.

so if you consider meaning comments such as you’re so smart, what we do is we then attach a label to this, which creates a very black and white picture. You’re either smart, well, you’re not. So if you received an, A grade in school, then you were considered smart. If you got to C grade, then you’re not.

Simple. Black and white. You’re smart or you’re not, but what it does is it lays the foundation for not wanting to try new things in case of failing or having that not smart label applied to ourselves.

Kingsley: Yeah, that’s a good point because you, you know, it makes sense to kind of focus [00:09:00] on the areas of greatness, where you’re already good at and kind of neglect the areas where you could improve, where your C could become  a B or anAa, I suppose.

So you just kind of, you focus on those areas that you’re really good at. And, um, any area that you want to. Come back to in light of life, you kind of feel like that you can’t, because you’ve already written that down as a, Oh, I’ll never come back to that.

Amanda: You really shy away from it. Yeah. And the thing is, my life is not polarizing.

It’s not polarizing like this.   there are shades of gray. It’s not black or white. So as Kingsley mentioned, we get conditioned to this smart and not smart labels, which we apply to ourselves. And that can lead us to feeling really inferior if we don’t do something perfectly. So we need to remember that there is a continuum which exists.

It’s not one end of the scale or the other. There are shades of gray along it.

Kingsley: And I think it’s also important to remember if you’re having those feelings of. Oh, I’m an impostor. I shouldn’t be doing this. [00:10:00] It’s it’s almost like if you’re having those thoughts, it’s you care enough about the subject matter that, you know, you’re actually on the right path.

You’re just kind of questioning it because you want to be better because everyone knows someone that is a complete impostor and shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing, but they have so much confidence that everyone just takes them for what they are. It’s almost like. The, the person that should be having the imposter syndrome isn’t because they just kind of fire straight through things and they’ve just got, um, they’ve got so much personality and so much front, I suppose.

Amanda: actually speak from personal experience on that one, the amount of times that I’ve stood back, because I’m afraid to say something for fear that it might be wrong, or I might look silly and someone else will step up and they’ll either take the role or they will do whatever it is. And I’m sitting there thinking, hang on.

I know so much more than that person. I have more qualifications in [00:11:00] that person. I’ve got more experience in that person. Why am I not standing there instead of them,

Kingsley: like not, not just more qualifications, you’re the subject matter expert. And they may know absolutely nothing, but because they have this personality that just dominates the room or yours, they end up kind of taking this role on and you just think.

Hmm. I wish that didn’t go that way.

Amanda: I’m suffering from impostor syndrome. I shouldn’t be.

Exactly. Yeah. At least you’re thinking. Huh? How did that go? Maybe, maybe  he or her is right. And then you just kind of got to check yourself and go. No, hang on, wait a minute. Maybe they’re just a bit of a so-and-so

they’re more confident they’re talking it up.

Yeah. So how do we deal with it? How do we overcome it? This is what we really need to, to get to. This is the crux of where we want to look at everything because you don’t want to be standing back like I have on many occasions going, it should be me.

So what can we [00:12:00] do? All right. First of all, observe your thoughts.

Know that the feeling is normal. It affects everyone, but it’s not openly discussed. And you’ll find that there was so many others sitting back thinking exactly the same thing that you are but they’re afraid to speak up. Once someone starts here, this massive it’s a huge sigh of relief and. Everyone else who is in the same position, just feels so much more confident and glad that you started that conversation.

You’ve opened up everybody.

Next thing to do, reframe your thoughts and remind yourself of what you have actually achieved. Think about your life achievements more than just this moment, but sit back and do almost like a little reel of what’s going on in your life and what you’ve actually accomplished.

You have done so much more than what is going on in this exact moment. So go back through old achievements, primary school, high school, any other further education or other activities sporting?

Kingsley: Yeah. Life [00:13:00] achievements. Well I think, yeah, it can be anything really.

Amanda: And I mean, even parenting or just other stuff like that, don’t think education-based, it can be so much more.

So have you got any older achievements or letters of recommendation, awards or just other life accomplishments? Chances are when you sit down and actually tally them up, you have achieved so much.

Next, you can tell a trusted supporter. So here we’re talking about a raving fan of yours. So a friend, a loved one, someone that sings your praises and will always be there to support you.

I can pretty much guarantee you’re going to come back with your spirits boosted. If they aren’t supportive, shut down the conversation then, and there, you don’t want them to dappen in your spirits because you don’t need that. You’re better than that. And simply just find someone else who is there to support you.

The other thing you can do is to share with a trusted mentor. And if you don’t have one seek one out. A mentor, is that a [00:14:00] guidance and support you and reassure you in your journey. This is why they exist. They will have been there before. They will have come across the, exactly the same insecurity as you, but they’re now past them.

And they’re going to show you the way out. Like I said, if you don’t have one seek one out, this is the perfect time to do that.

A really cool thing that you can also do is to teach others. So it’s amazing how much you actually know when you start to impart your knowledge and wisdom upon others. chances are, it’s just all bottled up inside you, but when you start speaking your truth and you start explaining it in detail to show others how it is, it’ll start to flow  and you realize how much you were meant to be exactly where you are.

Kingsley: Yeah, that one’s a really good point because you can practice being in your flow and imparting knowledge on other people that you, you feel passionate about. So it’s, it’s a great way [00:15:00] of kind of building up your confidence.

Amanda: Definitely. And this is another goodie as well. So just let others know that they’re, you’re stepping up.

It’s okay to move off in the world and chances are, they’re going to cut you some slack. So let’s say you’re jumping up to do a public speaking event and public speaking isn’t something that many people flourish in. It’s not something they love and it comes naturally to them. So if you’re jumping up in front of a crowd, let them know you’re nervous.

Let them know that you’re stepping outside your comfort zone, you know, they’re going to cheer you on for doing so. And you may  even inspire some others to do exactly the same thing.That old adage of fake it until you make it doesn’t always apply. Act like you are the upleveled version of the person that you want to be, but be honest when the situation calls for it too.

And then lastly, Be kind to yourself when failure occurs because chances are it’s going to occur. Nobody’s perfect. And if you think that [00:16:00] everybody is, you’re just kidding yourself.

Think of how you’d talk to a child who is learning a bike. They’re going to jump on, they’re going to stumble. They’re going to fumble and they’re going to fall numerous times before they’re up and riding. Would just go with them? Would you tell them that they’re silly and that they shouldn’t do this? No, you wouldn’t. So why do we do it to ourselves as adults?

We really are quite mean in the way that we talk to ourselves. Know that you’re likely to fall a few times first. It takes practice with anything that we do. So be  kind to yourself and give yourself some leeway, especially in the beginning.

Kingsley: So overcoming impostor syndrome is possible so let’s do a quick recap of what we’ve just talked about.

It’s about observing your thoughts and know that they are normal, no matter what you’re thinking. And remember yourself and your own achievements, go back to the beginning, go back to primary school, high school, being a mother, being a [00:17:00] father, any secondary school, you may have done any of your lifetime achievements that got you, where you are.

You’re a sum of them and you can get through anything.

Also telling a trusted supporter who can back you up and give you the support you need. And  have a mentor or seek one out if you don’t, because it’s really important.

You can also teach others. So this just reinforces what you know, and you’re also imparting your knowledge on to others, giving yourself more experience because when you’re a teacher, you’re also a student with that duality.

Also being honest and let others know that you’re stepping up, chances are they’re going to be kinder to you and can’t you a bit of Slack. And also it kind of breaks the tension in your own head that they know, they don’t think I know everything or, kind of releases your own internal tension and.

You cut yourself some Slack and then [00:18:00] nerves fall away and you actually step into yourself a lot more. And last of all, be kind to yourself. Can’t emphasize that enough.

Amanda: So we want to leave you with some parting words to remember, and it’s a really good idea to write these down, put them up somewhere to remind yourself whenever you have that impostor syndrome feeling starting to creep in.

And this should be written in the first person as though you’re talking to yourself. Ready for it?

I am good enough and I am supposed to be here.

Well, there you are guys. We hope that has helped overcome that impostor syndrome in which we know loves to creep in. So we look forward to seeing you next time.

Bye!

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