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Do you have a voice that creeps in to remind you that you don’t deserve a compliment or your success in spite of your training, experience and education? Or perhaps it’s a constant background worry that you could be found out for not being as good as people think you are.

This fear of deficiency—that just around the corner you’re going to be found out, fail or fall short is a key characteristic of an imposter mindset. It involves a fear of not being good enough and it’s very uncomfortable emotionally to carry this around and try to hide it from others.

Common signs of impostor syndrome:

1. Self-doubt: Constantly questioning your abilities and feeling that you’re not as competent as others perceive you to be.

2. Attributing success to luck: Believing that your achievements are purely due to luck or external factors, rather than acknowledging your own skills and efforts.

3. Fear of failure: Fear of making mistakes or failing in a way that impacts your willingness to take on new challenges.

4. Downplaying achievements: Minimizing your accomplishments or attributing them to external factors, such as teamwork or easy tasks, rather than recognizing your own contribution.

5. Setting extremely high standards: Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself and feeling like you constantly need to meet exceptionally high standards to prove your worth.

6. Overworking: Compensating for perceived inadequacy by working excessively long hours or putting in unnecessary effort to prove your competence.

7. Difficulty accepting praise: Feeling uncomfortable or dismissing compliments and positive feedback.

8. Comparing yourself to others: Comparing your achievements and abilities to those of your peers and feeling inferior as a result.

9. Fearing evaluation: Worrying about others discovering your supposed lack of competence, leading to anxiety in situations where your performance is evaluated.

10. Difficulty internalizing success: Being unable to internalize and believe that your success is a result of your own skills, efforts and qualifications.

How do you start to change your mindset around this?

Step 1

This is a part that you’ve been unconsciously focused on and listening to but it’s not all of who you are. Recognize that this is a story that’s feeding you incorrect thoughts.

Step 2

Raise your awareness and start to witness it showing up because even with that baby step you’ve shifted from it landing immediately and impacting you to observing it and starting to be able to work with it.

Liane Wansbrough | High-Performance Coach

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