Halloween is tomorrow…otherwise known as “National Imposter Syndrome day.” Whether you love it or hate it, it’s the one day a year when it’s perfectly acceptable to dress up like someone else and pretend to be a nurse, zombie or superhero.
But what happens when you pretend to be someone else the other 364 days of the year and wear your mask and costume to work every day?
The imposter syndrome is real. In fact, more than 70% of professional women admit to being terrified their secret will be revealed and everyone will find out they’re a complete fraud. They fear that one day everyone will figure out they’re not as smart, successful or as talented as they pretend to be.
If you can relate, you’re not alone. Here are imposter syndrome true confessions from top-level women…
“I believed that I was fooling everyone yet again. One day soon, the jig would be up.” Sheryl Sandberg
“I have written eleven books, but each time I think…Uh oh, they’re going to find me out now.” Maya Angelou
“Every time I make a movie, I feel like it’s my first movie. Every time I have the same fear that I’m going to be fired.” Penelope Cruz
“I thought winning an Oscar was a big fluke. I thought everybody would find out and then take the Oscar back.” Jodie Foster
3 Ways to Cure Yourself of the Imposter Syndrome
1. Keep a Brag Book
Instead of allowing amnesia to set in, keep an active and ongoing log of your successes, accomplishments and “WINS” of every shape and size. When you need to jog your memory and boost your confidence, you need a place where you can revisit your successful track record, remind yourself of your value and replay your Rockstar moments.
2. Train Your Brain & Let Optimism Rule the Day
With more than 80% of our thoughts being negative, it’s no wonder we immediately go to the dark side and the imposter syndrome shows up. Instead of allowing your brain to think of what you “can’t do” or what you “don’t know,” re-language the situation and think of what you “get to do” and what you “get to learn.” Bring excitement and energy and embrace the opportunity to grow and develop.
3. Catch & Release
The reality is that the imposter syndrome is impossible to cure 100%, but you have the power to keep it at bay and to not allow it to derail your career. Next time it rears its ugly head, just acknowledge it for what it is and then let it go. I feel you self-doubt, but I deserve this promotion for a million reasons and will knock it out of the park!
Halloween is a fun holiday and dressing up is a big part of it. Just remember to keep the mask at home and show up at work as your truly amazing and authentic self. It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not…time to Woman UP!