Liz Bingham OBE is famously quoted for reflecting to herself: “What are you doing here? What do you think you’re doing? You’re going to be found out.” Despite this internal self-doubt Liz Bingham, Partner at Ernst & Young, was named in BBC4 Woman’s Hour Power 100 List, Cranfield’s 100 Women to Watch and the Financial Times’ Top 50 Outstanding in Business.
Evidence that Imposter Syndrome doesn’t have to be a restraint on success, but it’s important we’re aware of the impacts it can have on an individual.
“There are an awful lot of people out there who think I’m an expert. How do these people believe all this about me? I’m so much aware of all the things I don’t know.”
Dr. Margaret Chan
Chief of the WorldHealth Organization
Many successful individuals wear a ‘mask of confidence’. On the outside they appear self-assured, able to act decisively and swiftly. What’s happening on the inside can be a totally different story though.
Studies conducted on Imposter Syndrome report that sufferers are left feeling crippled, exhausted by continually having to wear this mask. Drained by continually comparing their own inner doubts with the external successes of others. There is a serious risk that there will come a point where further success will be inhibited by such feelings.
Now it would be easy to presume that achieving success would dispel this inner doubt. However, the contrary is often true. Success can often leave the suffer feeling increasingly closer to being found out. The famous author, Maya Angelou, once said “I have written eleven books, but each time I think ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now, I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”
Without intervention, Imposter Syndrome could quite easily prevent a talented individual reaching their full potential. With the right support though this can be avoided.
If you would like to overcome Imposter Syndrome and set yourself free then Coaching with Outward Success can show you how to master self-acceptance. To stop striving for unrealistic perfection that only ever leaves a feeling of inadequacy. To realise that what you bring to the company is worthwhile and that you don’t need to keep making unrealistic comparisons with others. To cease talking down your successes and to begin to take risks and embrace new challenges.
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