What Is Imposter Syndrome And How To Turn It Into Your Greatest Ally

There is something that affects most successful people all over the world. It's called The Imposter Syndrome. Today I will share how you can turn your greatest imposter into your greatest ally - yourself.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

What is imposter syndrome image

The Imposter Syndrome (or Imposter Complex) is an internal belief that you are not as good or competent enough as to how others see you. It is a feeling that you are not deserving, worthy or capable of your current position. This could be a job title, business or any way in which others perceive you.

Examples of this might be:

  • You do a presentation about a topic, but you don't feel you're an expert.
  • You get a promotion at work, but you don't feel like you can give orders.
  • You are thinking of starting a business, but you think, "Am I really a business owner?"
  • You write a blog post (like this one) and think, "Who would read this and get value?!!"

When we grow and expand our lives, occasionally we have a voice inside our head that doesn't really sound like our greatest supporting fan.

In fact, it convinces us quite often that we are an imposter in our own life!

It tells us things like:

  • “I don't have enough certification.”
  • “I don't know enough yet.”
  • “Nobody will listen to me.”
  • “Nobody will ever value what I have to say.”
  • “What I share with the world simply is not valuable.”

How Does It Affect People?

Harvard University conducted research where they interviewed people who made over a million dollars in their business, and they discovered that 87% of them still feel like they are an imposter in their own business!

This creates a big impact on your performance and results because it means that you will self-sabotage.

You won't project confidence, you won't be an effective leader because people can sense your lack of belief, your business won't take off because you will be procrastinating... the list goes on and on.

But more than just the results suffering, the imposter syndrome affects your well being, happiness and self-worth. It simply doesn't feel good to be stuck second-guessing yourself at every turn.

How Does Imposter Syndrome Affect People image

Women Typically Suffer More From The Syndrome

The imposter syndrome in women is generally higher compared to men. Stereotypically, women aren't as assertive as men (and also suffer less from delusions of grandeur... the opposite of the imposter syndrome!).

In Oprah Winfrey’s interview with J K Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series), they both admitted to the fact that some days, they still feel they are actually broke!

J K Rowling and Oprah Winfrey image

Image Source: LA Times

Now, these are billionaire women here on planet Earth, yet they still wake up with this imposter style syndrome!

Imposter Syndrome Anxiety

Imposter Syndrome Anxiety imageImposter syndrome anxiety is social anxiety that’s caused by self-doubt. It makes you feel like you don't belong to any social group or situation.

You fear that people might find out that you're incompetent. So you feel like you just need to get through with what you're doing so that they don't find out that you don't belong.

Overcoming The Imposter Syndrome

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome image

The first step in overcoming imposter syndrome is knowing that it's a natural feeling on the pathway to progress. Almost EVERYONE goes through it (from billionaires, business owners to bartenders).

So, if you feel like an imposter, reframe the meaning in your mind that you are growing, expanding and on the right track.

My advice is to also acknowledge the voice inside you that tries to convince you that you are a fraud. The cool thing is you can learn to fall in love with the voice. Make friends and communicate with it.

Most people hate it, most people try to fight it, but the fact is that voice is designed to help you to continue to evolve and to never stop educating yourself.

Ask that voice, "What are you trying to teach me?" It usually wants to teach you that you are not there YET. So take it as a sign to be prepared, keep persisting and step into your power.

Turn that imposter into your greatest ally by saying, ”So, tell me, what would you like me to learn about today?”

And if you keep asking your imposter this question, you will never stop striving to learn more, to educate yourself and to liberate and empower the extraordinary life that you deserve.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome imageSo befriend your imposter syndrome. Turn it into your ally. Ask it the right questions, and know that it was designed to help you to never stop evolving.

If you would like more effective strategies on how to inspire and motivate yourself to become the absolute best YOU, download our FREE “Shadow Values” audio program here.

Read more about: Mindset

Ben is the Difference-Maker Mentor and Co-founder of Authentic Education. He is exquisite at inspiring people to share their message, make a difference in the world and live abundantly on purpose.

Ben has been featured in media such as the Today Show, Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com, Huffington Post and News.com.au.