If you are one of the 82% of people experiencing Imposter Syndrome – don’t panic! It might just be a hidden strength! I’m breaking down the 3 reasons why experiencing Imposter Syndrome might just be the thing that makes you the most successful!
As a stress physiologist and professional speaker, I work with a lot of highly accomplished people. The secret is that almost all of them are quietly, desperately doubting their abilities to be successful and looking for answers about how to rid themselves of imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is the belief that you are inauthentic, deceptive and/or not worthy of the role you have. But what if we took a contrary approach. I believe Imposter Syndrome might actually be a hidden superpower. It’s all about reframing the syndrome as a strength. Here are the 3 reasons I believe people who experience imposter syndrome are actually more successful:
- Self awareness. People who struggle with Imposter Syndrome have a keen sense of what they are and are not good at (although the Not good at category tends to be exaggerated). As an impactful article in Harvard Business review explains, too often people come into new positions overconfident, thinking they are better than they actually are, which lends itself to incompetent leadership. Self doubt in healthy doses can actually be your friend in staying humble, honest, and open to new ideas.
- Empathy. People who feel like frauds are more in touch with those around them that are also doing all they can to “prove themselves” by touting accomplishments, overcompensating and otherwise grappling with the same imposter fears as you. By recognizing these tendencies, people with imposter syndrome are often better listeners, and make excellent mentors to those around them, demonstrating that you don’t have to know it all, or do it all, to contribute valuably.
- You’re constantly pushing yourself and striving to improve. Sure, it can feel good to be a big fish in a small pond, but if you are never feeling out of your element ,you also aren’t challenging yourself to reach your full potential. Feeling like an imposter means you’re striving into unknown territory and that is something to be proud of!
In other words, embrace your superpower. Imposter Syndrome could stop you from going after your goals, but imagine what could happen if instead you leaned into the fear and embraced the possibilities that these feelings are there to guide you toward the success you deserve. Stay in it folks.
Until next time, live more, fear less.