The Imposter Syndrome

Worried that one day, they'll find you out?

You've been promoted a number of times in your career. And each time you step up to the next level, you challenge your self-belief. 

Will you be good enough to do the role? Will others perceive you as good enough? Will you succeed or fail?

It's quite common to suffer from the imposter syndrome… the fear that at some point, you'll get found out - that someone will realise you're actually not that good. And you're deepest fear is that you'll fail, perhaps for the first time in your career.

It's fear-generated

These fears have negative connotations. They generate worry and stress. They mean you'll likely overwork in attempt at proving yourself. You may compensate by taking too much on, by inappropriately promoting yourself on certain initiatives, or by generally doing things for the wrong reasons.

And even worse, these strategies don't usually work. They exhaust you, and others can usually pick up your insecurity.

The story in your head

The key thing to realise is that the imposter syndrome is really not necessary. It's based on nothing more than your erroneous thoughts making up a story in your head. The story you're creating holds you back you from fulfilling your potential in any moment. It's about 'just being you'. Being you is all you've got, it's what's helped you get this far in your career, and it's what will take you forward.

Little mind - big mind

In Buddhist terminology, negative thoughts are generated by your 'little mind' - they're thoughts that are usually illogical and unhelpful. And then there's your 'big mind', the greater power within you. That big mind when not encumbered by little mind, can just be whatever you need to be. Big mind has you operate naturally in flow, in a state where you can focus, be creative, be self-expressed and powerful. 

When you're in big mind, you are your potential. When you're in big mind, it's highly likely you won't look like an imposter. It may be true that you haven’t proven yourself yet, it may be true that others are questioning you. But the key is to relax - trust the greater power within you, trust that you're in the role for a reason, and all there is to do is to be your authentic self. Simply be who you are and let the noise of your unhelpful thinking fade into the background.