High achievement is not always accompanied by high satisfaction.
Many highly successful people suffer from anxiety, depression, or dissatisfaction.
Oddly enough, many high performers feel that they only got to the top by luck or by fooling everyone into thinking that they were smarter, more competent, or more gifted than they really are.
This common phenomenon is called Imposter Syndrome or Imposturism.
Those who suffer from this syndrome feel as though they don’t deserve their success, or that they’re not what the world thinks they are, no matter how hard they worked to achieve it.
So what’s at the root of this odd phenomenon? That’s a good question without an easy answer. Gender inequality, family dynamics, and cultural expectations are some of the possible causes. I’m not a therapist, so I can’t help you determine the root of your imposter dissatisfaction. But I can make some suggestions for what to do if you know you are–or think you may be– suffering from Imposter Syndrome:
1. Recognize that you may be suffering from imposturism. Identify is half the battle. The good news is that it’s not a medical disorder; it’s just a syndrome that can be overcome by changing your mindset.
2. Be aware that you aren’t alone in these feelings. Studies have predicted that as many as 70% of professionals experience episodes of Impostor Syndrome.
3. Take an inventory of your success. Count your many accomplishments. Write them down so that you can look at them.
4. For each major accomplishment write out the tasks you had to accomplish, the time you had to put in, the people you had to manage, and the roadblocks you had to navigate to succeed. Allow yourself a pinch of pride and acknowledge that you had to be awesome to achieve your success.
5. Employ positive self-talk. Instead of saying, “This project is not going to succeed,” train yourself to phrase things in a positive light, such as, “This project is going to help us exceed last year’s revenue.” You may have to repeat it to yourself A LOT before you start to really believe it. In the meantime, tell everyone you work with that the project is going to be great; let them see your positivity and your belief in them and yourself.
6. Don’t isolate yourself. Develop a support network of other high performers and people who believe in you and who can validate your contributions and worth.
7. If you can’t shake feelings of depression, anxiety, or chronically low self-esteem, you may want to enlist the help of a trained therapist. But bear in mind, those feelings don’t make you an imposter — you still earned your place and your accomplishments are still well deserved.
If you are a high performer, you have worked hard and you are gifted, and you do deserve to live an abundant, hopeful, vibrant life.
These are EXTRAORDINARY TIMES.
Through our strategic work together, I provide extraordinary, unprecedented programs for you. Message me directly at Beth@BethStrange.com, and let’s talk about the idyllically abundant life that’s waiting for you.
To Your Abundance,