Welcome to Influence, Psychology and Persuasion

This is session number 017 of Influence Psychology and Persuasion. This show is all about understanding the impostor syndrome and how it affects us. If you don’t know already, impostor syndrome is a feeling that we get whenever we feel not worthy. These impostor feelings can be subdivided into three separate categories.

Three Categories of Imposter Syndrome

The first is basically feeling like a fake. You know you have a little niggling inside that you’re about to be found out by someone. Perhaps you’re surrounded by others who you feel are more knowledgeable or skilled in certain areas, and you feel your time will come up very soon. Statements from people who feel like this would be things like “I just give the impression that I’m way more competent than I am” or even “I know that one day I’ll be found out that I lacked the knowledge that those around me have”.

The second part is the inability to own success and to wrap it up as just being lucky or fortunate. This is something that I’m sure all of us have done at one time or another. Someone may be praising a success or something that we’ve achieved, only for us to announce it as a fluke or that the competition at that time wasn’t up to par either.

The last category is fairly similar to the second and this is also discounting success. This is where a person really downplays the successes that they have had. “I don’t know why you’re making a fuss”  or “anybody could have done it”. This can look like being humble but face it. A win is a win and success is a success.

Different variations of impostor syndrome will show for most people during their lifetime in many different areas or situations. It’s extremely common though with high achievers, for highly successful people this is what separates impostor syndrome from simply low self-esteem. Impostor syndrome comes from the discrepancy of big achievements and the person not taking ownership or playing down the result.

Let’s have a look at some ways that you can overcome the impostor syndrome:

  1. Let go!  If you’re feeling like a fake it’s normally because you’ve related it to what normal would feel like! Therefore, you need to simply detach from that perfection that you have assigned and let go of the importance that you have added to it.
  2. Grab it back! The complete polar opposite of the above, but also beneficial. If you feel like a fraud because you’re lucky, then gain back some control them realise that you had so much input to the successes.
  3. Be all you can be. You have to absolutely give it your all to avoid the impostor syndrome. Let’s face it, sometimes we are just lucky. So as long as you know you have added value and put in the effort as much as possible, then you’ve done all you can.
  4. Continue driving forward. The impostor syndrome thrives and grows in stagnation. Therefore, continue driving forward and taking action, this tenacity will prove that you are no impostor and that you are worthy. The feelings may show once in awhile, but just continue producing, adding value and taking action.
  5. Accept the impostor to get rid of the impostor. You’ve heard me say this on the show before, “fake it until you make it” now I know that sounds like a real “impostors”, but bear with me. In order to feel like you’re worthy and more successful, you need to chalk up your achievements. What that means is you need to step outside your comfort zone and try things that are new to you to realise they are in fact worthy and you are growing. And the very best way to do this, fake it until you make it!