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Indulgence Matters

with Angela Cox

Imposter Syndrome… Have you heard of it?

I feel like it’s the phrase on the street now but what does it actually mean?

Well imagine this. you have the job and the title you’ve strived for, the company perks that make your friends swoon and you appear to be your boss’s right hand person, yet despite these markers of success you have convinced yourself this fortuitous position is purely down to serendipitous luck. You won’t let yourself believe that your situation is down to your talent and capability and so you spend most days doubting yourself and lurking in the shadows waiting to be found out. You are rendered disabled by the shackles of self-doubt you question everything you do. Am I good enough? Is she/he better than me? Will I mess up this task?

Does this strike a chord? If yes, you could be suffering with Imposter Syndrome, a psychological phenomenon first identified in 1978 by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes. The good news is you are not alone as it is estimated that some 70% of successful people have experienced the syndrome. Effecting high achievers and/or perfectionists it is rife among those working in the senior ranks in business, so you may well be taking lunch with somebody who feels the same.

Imposter Syndrome is particularly prevalent in an individual who sets huge targets or has high expectations. Failure to reach the goals can result in strong feelings of self-doubt and anxiety plus thoughts of being a lesser person than others.

Imposter Syndrome stifles natural talent and creates difficult working cultures as those suffering hide their true- and best-selves. Imposters often require a stamp of approval from leaders and rarely celebrate successes. They can demand too much from those who work with and for them.

I believe the route out of Imposter Syndrome includes five things.

Acknowledge the Facts

You have reached the heights you have because you have the experience, qualifications and skills for the role, and this makes you credible. You were recruited to do the role by people who know what they are looking for. Remind yourself of these facts often.

Celebrate your Successes

If you have Imposter Syndrome, you’ll be an expert at failing to acknowledge your wins. To mitigate this, celebrate everything you achieve, however small. Be your own cheerleader and shake those pom-poms with pride. Write your achievements down weekly and revel for at least a moment before moving on the next.

Accept your own stamp of approval

Learn to accept your own validation as the best validation. You don’t need constant praise and recognition from external sources if you see your own praise as the highest honour. This act of self-respect will help you develop a higher level of self-worth

Reframe the thoughts

When your self-talk tells you that you are not good enough, not clever enough, a fraud, or something negative reframe the thought to the positive opposite and say this new version out loud. Tune into your thoughts often by asking yourself ‘what have I been thinking in the last hour’ and get to work on the reframe.

Show you can be vulnerable

This is the ultimate superpower for those suffering with imposter syndrome. Be comfortable with asking for help or saying, ‘I don’t know’. You don’t have to have all the answers and you certainly don’t have to be perfect. Your vulnerability is the key to the imposter syndrome shackles.

Courtesy of Angela Cox, Mindset Mentor & Behavioural Change Coach

If you would like a free discovery call with Angela contact at