“The Impostor Syndrome | Learn About Overcoming Impostor Syndrome” written by Bren Koger
The Impostor Syndrome
While working as a licensed massage therapist 10 years ago, I was asked to give my friend’s husband a massage.
He had just finished a very long and grueling 10 years+ of med school, residency, and a fellowship to become an ER physician. She wanted him to relax and take a day off after his many years of sacrifice.
Some massage clients like to relax and say as little as possible and some can feel like sharing what’s on their mind as they are lying on my massage table.
I didn’t know my friend’s husband very well since his scheduled didn’t allow him to socialize as often as he would have liked. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Tom (not his real name) was excited about his life at the moment and really wanted to talk about it
He had just been offered a prestigious position as medical director of a level 3 trauma center and they had just bought a brand new luxury home of their dreams.
The thing I remember most about our conversation was how he kept saying:
“This doesn’t feel real that I should be living this life- I’m a doctor living in a mansion?? I’m just a good old boy from Mississippi. I grew up in a trailer park. I really don’t know how I got here. I feel like an impostor.”
Turns out he’s not the only one to have the feeling of being an impostor in his own life. He is in good company with some of the most successful and creative people on the planet.
It’s called The Impostor Syndrome.
The poet Maya Angelou. once shared, “I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”
Academy Award-winning actress Jodie Foster told 60 Minutes she feared she’d have to give her Oscar back after winning best actor for The Accused.
“I thought it was a fluke,” she said in the interview.
Former CEO of Girls, Inc. Joyce Roché once said “Somewhere, deep inside, you don’t believe what they say. You think it’s a matter of time before you stumble and ‘they’ discover the truth.”
And even one of my favorite motivational celebrities Will Smith admits, “I still doubt myself every single day. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.”
And Even More…
It’s not just the famous. Studies show that every profession from doctors to lawyers judges and policemen have this in one degree or another.
When we have a skill or talent that has come naturally we tend to discount its value.
How About You?
Have you learned a skill in your life that comes easily to you? What are you naturally good at and enjoy doing?
It’s very normal to discount it’s value to the world
“We often hesitate to believe that what’s natural, maybe even easy for us, can offer any value to the world. In fact, the very act of being really good at something can lead us to discount its value. But after spending a lot of time fine-tuning our ability, isn’t it sort of the point for our skill to look and feel natural?” Carl Richards
A natural sense of humility is healthy it becomes a problem when it crosses over to self-doubt and paralyzing fear.
What Can You Do-Impostor Syndrome
Two simple things:
Awareness and Acceptance
Awareness is the first step. Now you know it’s a normal feeling to have and most successful people have these feelings. You are in good company. It’s part of the creative process. It’s part of being successful and it’s a part of being human.
The next step is to accept it. Don’t try to get rid of them, use the feelings to make you a stronger person. Anything you resist will persist so invite those feeling in. Welcome them.
“Hello Impostor syndrome I see you’re here. Welcome, now lets get some work done.”
You might be surprised that once you accept every part of yourself, you will not feel quite so much like an impostor in your life anymore.
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