Have you ever heard of impostor syndrome? It is a psychological phenomenon that paradoxically affects the smartest people and risks endangering their future successes. If you know it, you avoid it.
“The greater your potential, the greater your insecurity. Presumption is the consolation prize of the mediocre. "
Have you ever happened to hit a goal, maybe even an important goal, but continue to belittle it or, even worse, continue to belittle yourself?
I'm talking about all those times when you have achieved success and immediately thought:
- "Ok, 'this time I went to c * lo: let's hope nobody notices!"
- "No, I really don't deserve it."
- "If only the others knew ..."
This attitude is called impostor syndrome and, ironically, it is often those people who work hard and achieve excellent results who suffer from it, but who unfortunately are unable to recognize their own merits.
If you find yourself in this identikit you must know that this continues self-sabotage it can be detrimental and can seriously jeopardize your long-term success.
Fortunately, there are practical strategies to stop giving yourself the famous "shot in the foot". I will tell you about it in detail in this article, also explaining the causes of this phenomenon. Specifically we will see:
- As well as i Oscar awards suffer from this strange syndrome.
- What are the causes of the impostor syndrome.
- Five strategy practices to free yourself from this "disease".
But first, I want to share with you the phrases spoken by some unsuspected victims of the impostor syndrome...
Oscar winners also suffer from the impostor syndrome
“If in the 5 minutes preceding the premiere of one of your films you don't start thinking to yourself 'what the hell am I doing here ?!', the time has come to withdraw from the scene. "
“Why would anyone want to see me in another movie? I don't know how to act, why do I keep doing this? "
"I thought it was a joke and that everyone knew it, except me. I was convinced that they would come to my house, knock and say 'Excuse us, we joked, the Oscar we gave you is actually for Meryl Streep. "
"There are mornings when I wake up and before I start shooting I think 'I can not do that', I'm just a cheat ”.
Try to guess who uttered these phrases in official interviews.
I'll give you some clues: they are all actors who have won a Oscar winner. Among them there are even those who have won more than one!
You guessed? ;-)
Here they are in the order of appearance of their respective citations (from left to right):
In short, if you suffer from the impostor syndrome you are not alone: every day, actors of the caliber of Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster e Kate Winslet they question their real abilities and live in the belief that, sooner or later, someone will unmask them!
... actually there are many who do not feel up to it
Apparently this problem doesn't just affect you and some Oscar winners ;-)
According to a study conducted by Dr. Pauline Clanche, a researcher who first coined the expression "impostor syndrome", almost the 70% of the population has experienced this psychological phenomenon at least once in his life.
This feeling of not being up to par, of being cheaters in the wrong place, often arises when we find ourselves learning new skills or filling a new role of responsibility.
The spread of this "syndrome" then suggests that it is the hyper-competitive society in which we live that makes us feel inadequate.
As I always tell you, however, it is useless whimper and take it out on bad and ugly society.
However, it is our responsibility to take care of our personal growth path.
That's why after explaining to you what imposter syndrome is (step 1) and showing you that you are not the only one who has certain thoughts (step 2), it is time to understand why our minds play these tricks on us (step 3).
Who knows, maybe not all evils come to harm ...
Because you suffer from the impostor syndrome
“True humility is not thinking that you are worth less than others; it's thinking less of yourself and more of others. "
Part of the impostor syndrome stems from a sense of humility towards our abilities.
This attitude is healthy and can push us to improve every day.
The problem arises when we begin to be too humble, in fact becoming insecure perennials (if you want to deepen the topic of insecurity, read this article).
And guess who falls into this trap most often?
To suffer the most from this "psychological phenomenon" are those people who tend to be very critical towards them, either because they were brought up in this way or simply because of an innate sense of modesty.
These same people almost always have a standout sense of duty and if they fail to live up to the expectations of others, they are terrified of how they might be judged.
Am I wrong or is this the self-portrait of someone you know well (sooo well) ?! ;-)
So let's see how to finally get rid of this useless "hand brake" (step 4).
5 strategies to free yourself from the impostor syndrome
There are very effective strategies to get rid of the impostor syndrome (the latter is perhaps the most challenging, but also the most effective):
1. Stay pollege!
Have you ever heard the expression "polleggiati" or "sei pollege"?
My fellow students from Bologna often used it to invite someone to relax, not to be always tense and stressed.
Those who suffer from the impostor syndrome are convinced that they have to compete day and night with a ideal of perfection unattainable.
And this constant struggle with oneself only wears down the mind and body.
Learn not to get caught too seriously.
… And if you have serious perfectionist obsessions, get rid of them with these 3 strategies.
2. Recognize your merits
Whoever feels like an impostor is unable to internalize their successes: it is always thanks to luck, too easy challenges, easy starting conditions, etc.
Of course, these aspects play a role in our successes and it is useful to recognize this.
But you must also learn to recognize your role: it is you who made certain decisions, you who made the deck and therefore you deserve certain results.
3. Give yourself the chance to be wrong
“I have not failed. I just tried 10.000 methods that didn't work. "
In the GetPersonalGrowth Archive you can find nearly 450 articles. Every single article required me endless hours of research, insights, reviews, etc. Does this mean that he has always made masterpieces?
In fact, the opposite is probably true - only a handful of these items truly deserve 5 stars.
Yet I would never have been able to write these “top” articles, if I hadn't written the others as well.
- errors, the missteps and imperfect drafts, are part of our improvement path: if we let ourselves be paralyzed by the idea of always having to exceed the expectations of others, we will end up not achieving anything.
Paradoxical, don't you think?
By dint of putting off to be sure of our success, the only sure thing we get is failure.
4. Put your syndrome in writing
Have you noticed that our thoughts, especially the negative ones, once they are captured by the ink of a pen, tend to become "smaller"?
As long as we allow a negative thought to roam freely in our mind, it will cast shadows that make it "bigger" and scary, but the moment we put it in writing, that same thought will lose much of its virulence.
This is why if you suffer from the impostor syndrome you should immediately take a pen and paper and start writing everything you think: shouldn't you deserve your successes? Write it down. Were the results you achieved solely thanks to your blatant luck? Write it down. Are others much better than you and will they soon find out that you are just a cheat? Write it down.
If necessary, magnify these fears of yours. Who knows, maybe seeing these grotesque thoughts in black and white, you will also have to smile ...
5. Remember that you will die (and you will probably do so full of regrets)
I created GetPersonalGrowth when I had 25 years and in the weeks leading up to the publication of the first article, I was constantly thinking:
"But why should anyone read a little boy's 'personal growth' advice?"
If I hadn't silenced that voice, I probably would have regretted it for the rest of my life.
Well, I bet there's a little voice in your head right now and this little voice seems to have very good reasons as to why you shouldn't embark on a certain project.
Before this little voice takes over, let me remind you of a simple truth: You will die and if you listen to it, you will die full of regrets.
But there is a little thing you can do right now to start changing your attitude (and keep your impostor syndrome at bay) ...
I hope you understand that feeling like an impostor, being convinced that you don't deserve your successes, is putting your future in serious danger.
If you continue to believe these lies, the day will soon come when, in front of one decisive challenge, you will choose to lower your head and not face it for fear of not being up to it.
Who knows if that day has not already arrived:
- maybe you have to take a university exam you have been preparing for for weeks and are already thinking of postponing it.
- maybe you have a brilliant business idea, but you don't think you can make it happen.
- maybe one got free prestigious location in your company, but you are convinced that you do not have what it takes to be promoted.
- maybe you've been wanting for months get to know that boy / girl, but you never had the courage to introduce yourself.