I suspect you are thinking … what?!
Yes, this thing called Impostor Syndrome is very prevalent among high achievers. It has nothing to do with competence or skill level.
Often the reason is they are hard task-masters on themselves setting ridiculous high standards because they have a constant belief that they not as good as other people believe they are.
According to Journal of Behavioural Science, it is estimated that globally 70% of people have experienced Impostor Syndrome at some point in their career. Even Albert Einstein described himself as an involuntary swindler whose work didn’t deserve all the attention it had received.
This seems crazy.
In my research I have been so surprised to learn many other famous people who are top of their game, get caught up in this belief.
In 2017 I attended an event with a panel of experts who were highly regarded. One woman let her guard down and said she never felt she was successful and then this opened a can of worms with others agreeing they’d also had this feeling.
I was shocked, thinking “wow this woman had some amazing degrees under her belt and had gone to the prestigious Cambridge University”. This led me to have many conversations about Impostor Syndrome with other business people I know.
Sure enough many confessed to the feeling. Admittedly, I too can relate to many of symptoms but had no idea how common it is. Just thought it was me.
When I run personal brand workshops, I find people will point out what they are not good at instead of acknowledging their distinctive advantages. I thought it would be just women but men it appears are equally fall into this self-doubt.
Here are a few symptoms that you may identify with:
- You have problems accepting praise
- You suffer from over perfectionism
- You are terrified of failure
- You believe others are more talented
- You are focused on what you have not done
- You never acknowledge the success you have achieved
- You get thoughts in your head like not good enough, I’m a fraud, just lucky, I’ll get found out.
Does this sound familiar?
These contribute to your self-doubt which fuels the Impostor Syndrome.
On a positive note if you can relate with these symptoms it is very likely you are a high achieving individual who probably places ridiculously high standards upon yourself. If you feel you don’t measure up just know you are you are not alone.
One of the best things to do be aware of these negative thoughts and be mindful of setting your standards too high. Even share your concerns with people you trust. As this is such a common feeling having a conversation would be very cathartic.
IMAGE | Janelle Gerrard breaks down ‘imposter syndrome’ amongst high-achievers.
Janelle Gerrard has immersed herself into the area of brand, marketing and graphic design for the past 30+ years. She describes her main mission as to defy ordinary. Before Stand Out Brand, she worked for leading international advertising agencies on well-known brands like Revlon, Oroton and Amex.
Stand Out Brand assists small businesses to establish truly genuine personal and business brands. Janelle uses exclusive brand testing tools that quickly gets to the core of who you are and articulates what your business stands for. She regularly runs workshops for businesses and individuals who want to stand out in a competitive market.