The Impostor/Imposter Syndrome Defined:
*Originally called impostor phenomenon, impostor syndrome, as it’s now usually called, is commonly understood as a false and sometimes crippling belief that one’s successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill. (… term was coined by American psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes). –Merriam Webster Dictionary
**… A psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be. –Wikipedia
*** … The persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills. (‘people suffering from impostor syndrome may be at increased risk of anxiety’) –Oxford Dictionary
Example of this syndrome:
Your inner critic or voice says, “You are a fake” You are phony” “You are not as smart as everyone else in the room” “You do not really deserve this praise, complement or award” they just gave it to you our of pity or out of charity” “They done found you out” “You know you are not qualified for this…” “Why are you going through the motions when you know you will fail” and so on…
WELL, DON’T BELIEVE IT!!! THERE’S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM, MAKING MIS-TAKES AND LEARNING FROM THEM, BEING A PERFECTIONIST CO-SIGNING WITH YOUR CORE BELIEFS AND BELIEVING IN YOURSELF AND ABILITIES.
Remedies to defeat this syndrome:
0. REMEMBER THAT NO ONE CAME INTO THIS WORLD KNOWING EVERYTHING OR ANYTHING, AND THAT NO ONE IS PERFECT AND WITHOUT FLAWS, MISTAKES OR “WEAKNESSES.”
1. BELIEVE WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE IN HIS WORD (BIBLE)
2. RECITE AFFIRMATIONS & POSITIVE CONFESSIONS
3. EDUCATE TO GROW
4. HAVE A WILLINGNESS TO LEARN
5. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
6. BE TRANSPARENT
7. DON’T ENGAGE IN THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION
8. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
9. PERCEIVE YOUR SHORT COMINGS (that everyone has) AS A PART OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE AND RELATABLE TO OTHERS
11. TAP INTO YOUR STRENGTHS AND INNER GREATNESS
12. TALK ENCOURAGEMENT AND EMPOWERMENT TO YOURSELF
13. DISTRACT NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
14. FORGIVE YOURSELF
15. COMPLIMENT YOURSELF
16. KEEP A COMPANY/CIRCLE OF PEOPLE WHO LOVE YOU AND APPRECIATE YOUR UNIQUENESS AND WHO SEE YOU.
17. STOP MINIMIZING YOUR VALUE AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
I basically shared remedies with you and most of them that I USE for myself! Did you HEAR that? USE FOR MYSELF! I don’t care how big, great, successful, gifted, talented or popular we are, we may/can still battle or experience the IMPOSTOR SYNDROME. Hey, did you ever think that THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME IS AN IMPOSTOR ITSELF? That just came to me as I write this blogpost. Note, both spellings (impostor/imposter) are correct to use.
IJS! Sometimes, out of fear, we tell ourselves lies or past insecurities try to pop up even though we identify our strengths and uniqueness. Moreover, so what if we step into or engage in an activity that we are not secure in or an expert in, it’s a part of the growing, grooming and on the job training that many of us experience in life. I remember while enrolled in cosmetology school, most of us students, while training to become licensed, all knew that, designing a hair style, nail care, hair color or even hair cut on a patron for the first time, can be nerve-racking. The client/patron may not know that it was our first time but we do/did. No matter what, we still had to keep pushing to grow and master our craft. Guess what, I made mistakes as a hair artist/cosmetologist but I already accept that this is a part of the journey and every other professional cosmetologist/hair stylist is/has/had the same journey. Embrace and Chase Your dreams in spite of. We are still able to use the title “cosmetologist” or “Professional”. We have to see it, believe it and say it. We have to walk in our aspiring or learning skill and perfect it with practice.
The truth is, we can be really great and competent at things but still experience this “syndrome.” Bottom line, once we learn the power of dismantling, disabling and pull down every stronghold that speaks or whispers against who God says we are in Him, then we realize our own power, anointing, uniqueness and strengths.
Note, If you have battled with the Imposter Syndrome, I would love to hear your story of overcoming it. If you are dealing with this syndrome now, I hope this post helps you to overcome it and keep striving forward…