Imposter syndrome was identified in the 1970s and typically features an ‘inner voice’ saying things like:
- “I’m not qualified”
- “I’ve got to where I am now due to luck”
- “I know I will be found out, and exposed as a fraud eventually”
- “What was I thinking, I was never going to succeed”
If you experience it, you are not alone. Research shows it is a very common experience for a lot of people – especially intelligent, talented, and successful people.
It is not a medical or a psychological disorder, but it can be very limiting for those affected. It is more prevalent in women (thought to be 70%+), as well as gender minorities, LGBTQIA and BIPOC individuals.
A combination of factors are behind the syndrome:
- Upbringing (implied and explicit messages, praise, criticism)
- Environment (including work culture)
- Brain neuropathways (ingrained patterns of thoughts and beliefs)
In reality, you can’t make it magically disappear, but you can learn to deal with it – very successfully. By learning to recognise it, reflect differently, and to re-frame your thoughts, you can move past it and significantly reduce the impact it has on your life an your career.
Imposter syndrome is a frequent visitor to career coaching conversations. A good career coach is well equipped to help you learn to deal with it successfully.
For more about career transitions and about 1:1 coaching, please visit my website http://www.midlifecareers.co.uk.