21 Mar Is the Imposter Syndrome getting in the way of you enjoying success?
You’ve very probably heard about The Imposter Syndrome. It’s that thing where others recognise your capabilities and acknowledge you for your talents and success. However, in your heart of hearts, you know that you’ve fooled them. You haven’t really earned your success. You don’t know what you’re doing. You’re where you are through luck. And, any moment now, you’re going to be exposed as a fraud.
Then, so that you don’t get found out, the Imposter Gremlin whispers in your ear that you need to work harder. You have to do more and more and more. Everything has to be perfect. Any requests for help will be seen as a sign of weakness. So, you work longer and longer hours, take on more than is physically possible, struggle to switch off and end up exhausted and disillusioned.
Or, maybe, that pesky gremlin has you holding back from pursuing opportunities and taking the next step in your career. Because, if you do, you’ll be found out as a fraud. So, it’s safer to stay where you are and avoid being found out. And, then, you wonder why you’re feeling dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
What is true success?
This was my story. On paper, I had a successful career. I was co-founder and director of an international innovation consultancy. But the Imposter Gremlin convinced me that I didn’t deserve my success. All my efforts to avoid being found out as a fraud led me further and further down the road towards burnout.
Yes, I looked like I was successful – but I wasn’t enjoying my success. Which, thank goodness, I eventually realised, is the most important thing. True success is about enjoying what you do and feeling fulfilled.
As a result, I’ve dedicated the last decade to learning how to manage my own Imposter Gremlinand helping others to do the same – so they can do success in ways that work for them.
It comes down to three things:
Confidence X Purpose X Relationships
= Enjoyment of Success
Only when you believe in yourself and the value that you bring, when your appetite for success is greater than your fear of failure and when you are effectively managing your interactions with others will you achieve true success. Success that you enjoy and that brings fulfilment.