I’m sure many can relate to feelings of imposter syndrome, as a recent study has found that almost 90 per cent of women experience the feeling of not being good enough and extreme self-doubt. However after years of battling with this syndrome, I am now on a mission to show women how they can still live a big life in a quiet way.
I have almost 10 years experience of coaching and work with women across the globe including; the USA, Canada, Africa and the UK…. who secretly struggle with imposter syndrome. I still describe myself as a natural introvert first and foremost, however, this does not define my lifestyle and I am on a mission to show others that this personality trait needn’t hinder their way of life either…
I understand the fear that comes with the thought of putting myself ‘out there’ and doing things that are outside my comfort zone, such as speaking in front of groups of people, or recording a video for my business… I say to many of my clients ‘If you are happy with your life as it is, great! If you are not, you do have a choice. You either keep doing what you are doing and getting the results you are currently getting, or you can choose to take action and make a change.’
I personally struggled climbing the corporate ladder for over 16 years whilst working in the banking industry within financial services. Each time I got a promotion I would always have this feeling a couple of months later that I wasn’t good enough or that I would be found out. Regardless of all the positive feedback I got, the encouragement from my managers and peers, my hard work and time I had devoted… sometimes that inner voice would just take over.
Although on the outside I looked like everything was okay, inside I was fraught and constantly worried whether I was enough. Eventually, after years of worrying, angst and living limited, I decided to look a little deeper within and start my own personal development journey and soon saw that this pattern of ‘not being good enough’ was also mirrored in my personal life too – this was imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern that can affect anyone. It’s a feeling of self-doubt and anxiety that can manifest itself without any clear reason for doing so.
On this realisation in my own life, I started to talk to friends and colleagues and found that imposter syndrome resonated with so many others too. Some well-known women have spoken up about their own experiences of imposter syndrome including; Michelle Obama, Britain’s Got Talent Judge Alesha Dixon and the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.
Sharing my training and the steps I have learnt along the way, I want to show other introverted women who may be struggling with imposter syndrome, just how much you can do with your life and how your individual and unique personality, experiences and skills can help you create a life you love.
My book ‘How to Live a Big Life in a Quiet Way: Strategies for Introverted Women to Overcome Imposter Syndrome’ took a long time to come together, struggling with feelings of self-doubt I had to remind myself how far I had come and just how much I had to say. I couldn’t believe it when the book went best-seller, but, I am confident that this book is sure to lead the reader to recognise their own self-doubt and learn ways to overcome this, underpinned by my experience, training and support throughout.
Top Tips to Overcome Imposter Syndrome and Live a Big Life in a Quiet Way:
- Look at what you have already achieved – Create your own achievement evidence bank by listing out everything you can do today that once you didn’t know how to do. Look at what you have already achieved – walking, driving, degrees, training, experience, knowledge…
- Accept the Challenge of Learning Something New and Feel the Feels: You often feel like an imposter when you are trying something new – for example, a new job role, or a new hobby or leisure activity. Accept that when you are learning something new these feelings are natural for you and part of the change cycle. Reframe your thinking and embrace it as a good thing – it means you are learning and growing!
- You are not alone in how you are feeling – statistically, 70% of us will struggle with feelings of self-doubt and that we are not good enough at some point in our lives. Let that sink in for a second: that means 7 out of 10 people you know either have had, currently have or will in the future have some level of self-doubt.
- Dream big and don’t censor yourself! If you have resigned yourself to being and living a certain way, now is the time to let your imagination run wild – What is your life purpose? What do you love doing? Who did your 10 year old self want to grow up into? What about your 70 year old self – what will you regret not doing or being? What is on your bucket list?
- Plan of Action: Identify one thing from strategy #4 that you really want to achieve. Now think about exactly what you need to do to get from where you are now to the place where you have achieved this goal.