Imposter Syndrome


Are you an imposter

Lately I have been feeling like an imposter.  Do you ever have that feeling?  You know  the feeling that sooner or later someone is going to figure out that you are not as awesome as everyone thinks. This known as the Imposter Syndrome, and it was first introduced by researchers in Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in their 1978 research.  They observed that  “many high-achieving women tended to believe they were not intelligent, and that they were over-evaluated by others. ”  Imposter Syndrome, is basically when a person can’t truly internalize their own worth or accomplishments, so they are worried the world will find out that they are not as “good” as they think.  “I must keep performing to make sure no one finds out that I am a fraud. And when they find out, they will know I am not worthy of the success I have.”

This phenomenon does not only affect women, some very influential men have written about these feelings.  In fact, Albert Einstein once told a friend ” the exaggerated esteem in which my life’s work is held makes me very ill at ease.  I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.”

But for all those people who struggle with those feelings, there is one thing I  know for sure about Imposter Syndrome, is that it only shows up in people who put themselves out there.   It’s the ones who dare to make a difference.  If you live in a place of fear and are constantly keeping yourself small, then chances are, you are not going to feel like you are an imposter.  But this also means  you aren’t living to your fullest potential and therefore robbing the world of something amazing.

Ok, so there will always be times when you feel a little off your game, but you can  stop the  self-sabotaging behaviors and the yucky feelings of being an imposter and a fraud.  Here are a few ways to help you to work through some of those thoughts and feelings.

Stop trying to be perfect-and focus on the value you bring to a situation or organization. Remember “giving your best is not the same as being the best”.

Own your Power.  You are pretty awesome, and remind yourself about this every day.  Allow judgement to be what it really is, a reflection of their insecurities and feelings of smallness, they are not a measure of your value.  You have a strong and important purpose in this world, own that and keep walkin’.

Find the right support.   Surround yourself with friends, colleagues, and mentors who get you, want to support you and what you accomplish.   It is hard to find the strength and the courage  if you surrounded yourself with  people who are themselves playing small, or are downright judgmental of you.

Practice Gratitude.  Say thank you often for your unique talents and gifts. It is these strengths that have allowed you to position yourself in a place of power and success.  Also be thankful to the trailblazers who have sacrificed and struggled before you. They have paved the way for your climb and given you an example to follow.  Remember not everyone can find their courage, so be thankful that you have found yours.


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4 thoughts on “Imposter Syndrome

  1. With all my nurse practitioner students, we talk about this a lot. When NPs first start practicing, most go through this phase of “playing doctor”. Since almost all NPs were nurses prior to becoming an NP, it’s a weird shift to be a provider.

    I also felt like an imposter after my first marathon. I didn’t run the race I set out to run, and even though I finished, it felt ‘fake”.
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    1. I never thought about being an imposter when it comes to running. I guess its anything you excel at. I did not realize you did not need to be a nurse in order to become a NP. thank you so much for stopping by again. 🙂

    1. Tracey, thanks for reading. I think this syndrome, is fairly common, however, I think many people do not want to talk about it. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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