Monday, October 1, 2012

Ditch the Imposter - Be it to Become It!

Why this happens, I don't know.  

I dive head long into a project, feeling like I am in my element. I feel confident in my knowledge. I prepare, I practice, I deliver.  Often, I will even get accolades for effort and a job well done.

Is the job ever perfect? No.

But is it pretty darn good?  Yes, often it is.

I recently gave a presentation on a workshop I am currently writing.  I delivered the content well. I got a lot of good feedback of what was good, and what could be improved upon. Most of the feedback was good, and the goals of the presentation were met and even exceeded.

Then why was it that as soon as I had delivered, I felt a wave of doubt come over me? Why did I suddenly wonder what the heck I was thinking that I could accomplish?  Why did I feel like an imposter?

I did some self assessing and realized that there are certain instances and areas in my life where that thinking comes in.

In many of my roles this type of thinking never creeps in. I am confident and comfortable running my household.  I can multitask and juggle a ton of things like a pro.   I don't ever write a post, comfort a friend, put a meal on the table or comfort one of my children and then ask myself  "What gives you the authority and the know how to do this?"

But when I am in a situation that I know in my head I can do, but is outside of what I see as my  "lived  out" expertise  doubt creeps in. Even if I have the support of my peers and the logical understanding of the process and my ability, often  I do question myself. Even if I KNOW I have the knowledge and experience to be successful in things outside my daily duties, my emotions often sabotage me.  I don't feel like I am in the "fake it till you make it" spot.  I just feel like I am faking it.

I feel like an imposter.

I was wondering if I was alone in this thinking.  Apparently not. I was relieved. I turned to the almighty Google and looked up the phrase "imposter thinking".  This is actually something that many feel. Often, it is women that feel this way. Women Enough, I bet many of you feel the same.

What Can Be Done About It?

A plan of action has helped me and may help other Women Enough combat this false thinking. These are the steps that may help break the circle of loop thinking - a train of though that takes you back to defeat.

  • Recognize the type of situation that spawns these thoughts. 
  • Remind yourself of why YOU ARE the right person to be in that action or role  - even if it means making a written list. 
  • Know that YOU have the knowledge and the ability to perform the role. 
  • Remember that a standard of  "expert" is performing a role approximately 10,000 times. In reality there are very few true experts. We are all on fairly level ground. 
  • Listen to the voices of those around you that are giving you the outside feedback  of why you are capable for that role. 
  • Realize that no person could do that role until they DID perform that role. YOU are no different.
  • Even if you feel that way, to continue on until the feeling subsides. Don't let it get the best of me. 
  • Remember that your perception is on a pendulum. It may swing from a perception of ultimate success on one end, to ultimate failure. The truth regardless of your perception is someplace in the middle of that. 
Woman Enough -Instead of getting stuck in the "fake it" phase, adopt the mantra "Be It To Become It!".  If you get stuck in either part of that mantra, it is a winning place to be. This way you can take a look at yourself and say "I feel like the person and the role that I am striving to be." 

Woman Enough, Do you ever feel like you are faking it? What do you do to change that feeling? 

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