I first came across imposter syndrome a few years ago when I was having some executive coaching at work.
“Karen, it sounds like you are experiencing imposter syndrome,” my coach said.
“What on earth is that?” I said.
“Well it seems like you are not recognising all your accomplishments, experience and skills and instead you are experiencing a fear that you are going to be found out to be a fraud”.
As soon as I heard this I thought “WOW” – that is exactly what I am feeling. I actually burst out laughing in relief that this was actually something that was recognised, and others experienced it.
When researching this further I found out I was actually in great company as even the highest achievers like Albert Einstein suffered from this corrosive form of self-esteem.
There was a great quote from a philosopher called Bertrand Russell who wrote: “the whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts”.
So, over the last few years since moving away from the corporate world and creating and developing my own consultancy practice, imposter syndrome has become a real interest and passion of mine to understand in order to support myself and other female leaders and business owners.
Now I’m not saying that exhibiting it limited my successes, far from it as I would confidently say I am an achiever. It was just the impact this mindset was having on me in my journey to success. Sleepless nights before presentations and important meetings. That constant internal dialogue of self-criticism even if I had done something well. Overworking, overpreparing, energy loss, stress, anxiety and people pleasing – shall I go on?
Since my epiphany coaching session and finding out the link between high achievers and imposter syndrome and what tools and techniques there are to limit this, I have had the privilege to meet, coach, mentor and develop a range of female leaders, business owners and managers who are experiencing this.
So, if this article has resonated with you I would really recommend you consider getting some coaching or mentoring as investing in only a few sessions could have a major impact on how you are achieving your successes and as a result enable you to achieve more with less impact on your emotional, physical and mental wellbeing
Get in touch if you would like to chat about it more.