Since the start of the recent pandemic, we have all had to adjust to the new way of working – both online and from home. A recurring theme that has come up in recent requests for speakers is for someone to speak around Imposter Syndrome.
Phil Olley is inspirational speaker and author of the Nexus Code and through both his coaching and recent talks has often been asked to speak on the subject. He has kindly taken the time to provide some insights into Imposter Syndrome for us below and to share some of his thoughts on the matter.
Imposter Syndrome by Phil Olley
If you suffer from Imposter Syndrome, you are definitely not alone! It is estimated that over 70 percent of people do.
Imposer Syndrome is a form of self-judgement, a concern about being disclosed as a ‘fraud’ that can be hugely limiting and is particularly prevalent in times of adversity or crisis.
When they first come to me, the vast majority of my personal VIP clients admit to suffering from it, in some form or other, and to a greater or lesser extent.
And I have noticed that it tends to exist amongst people who are of above average intelligence, and is certainly prevalent among high-achievers.
It is also often evident in those who are talented or particularly skilled in certain areas. This may be due to the fact that people tend to under-estimate their own talents. Many think that because they are good at something and therefore find a task easier to do, then everyone must find it easy. Hence the tendency to undervalue.
It arises because we know ourselves (successes, faults, blemishes, and all), and we judge that against what we see of others… imagining them to know more, be more, be better.
That’s rather like seeing what’s going on ‘backstage’ in our lives and judging it against the ‘polished final performance’ we see of others. There is a natural tendency to assume the worse of ourselves (after all we know our faults) and assume the best of others. Such an unconscious and subliminally unfavourable comparison creates a sense of being ‘not good enough’ or not knowing enough, and therefore not deserving of a status or position.
Damaging? Hugely. It stops people performing at their best, and sometimes from stepping forward to do a task even though they would be the best person for it. It also creates that ‘psychological interference barrier’ that can result in low confidence, which prevents active contribution to meetings or discussions at work.
It can hinder stage performance (such as presenting at conferences or in front of any audience), it can certainly hinder leadership, and it can ultimately stand in the way of promotion or indeed success of any kind.
In the current climate it is exacerbated by a sense of the lack of certainty and control many managers and leaders are experiencing. People in senior positions, or as team managers and supervisors, feel a weight of responsibility towards their team members, but without feeling they deserve to be in charge because they don’t have the answers their people they imagine are looking to them to provide during such times of crisis or turbulence.
The reality is that to suffer Imposter Syndrome is certainly not unusual. It can, however, be very damaging, often crippling talent. And yet, once aware of it, there are so many ways to inoculate against its effects and overcome it.
Phil Olley is a sought-after inspirational speaker and author of The Nexus Code, who works with companies and individuals throughout the world to help them dramatically enhance performance, improve results, and achieve their goals.
Over twenty plus years, Phil has distilled the ingredients of success into The NEXUS Code, a suite of practical concepts and tools he uses with individuals, teams and businesses, to create breakthroughs in results whilst at the same time increasing personal and professional fulfilment. For more information click here.
If you would like to learn more of have Phil speak to your team about Imposter Syndrome or some of the other topics please contact us on email@example.com