We might all be well-acquainted with wearing a mask at this point, but what about that other mask that we think we’re wearing time and time again? I’m talking about the one that makes us feel like we’re incapable, not experienced enough, not old enough or young enough, not smart enough, and like we don’t fit in. It’s the invisible mask that has Imposter Syndrome written all over it. It’s when we’re filled with self-doubt and fear being exposed as a fraud. Despite our unique experiences and accomplishments, we nurture these overwhelming feelings that blossom into the phenomenon that is Imposter Syndrome (IS).
It may happen when we’re surrounded by people we think are more than us (“They’ve been doing this longer, therefore they know more than I do”) or when we’re relatively new (“I don’t know what I’m doing, why did they hire me?”). Because we think we don’t have enough smarts, strength, years, etc. we don’t belong and we’ll be found out. This “I’m less than” mentality is IS’s favorite food. The more we feed it, the more it grows.
What happens when it sets in? In come the 3 Ps: Perfectionism, Paralysis, and Procrastination. Either one of the 3 P’s or a combination of them, are a result.
Perfectionism: “I have to do it perfectly and can’t mess up” or else they’ll find out I can’t do this, I’ll be fired, or they’ll find someone else who can!
Paralysis: “I’m stuck” because just thinking about doing it and the potential to fail is overwhelming!
Procrastination: “I’m going to wait it out and do something else” because the fear of making a mistake is giving me anxiety about the whole thing!
The Ps are the binding agent that hold IS together. However, while IS gets all this attention and gets built up, your true self- you know, the capable, smart, strong, and enough YOU, gets buried beneath it. Which of the 3 Ps have you experienced? When do you feel it coming on? What do you do to overcome it? We’re going to be digging in and answering these questions and more this month to uncover your authentic self behind the mask.
Catherine at Revive