Imposter syndrome

Girl alone

I recently facilitated a pitching session during which I spoke to the teams in private sessions. For most of the teams, they were concerned about their presentation and if it played out coherently.

For one team, the specter of being an imposter came up: they felt they didn’t deserve to be at the session. The team was made up of two women who voiced their fears about feeling unqualified to be part of the group.

This seems to be a continual challenge for creative people. And the majority I encounter are women. Perhaps it’s the creative business we’re in that fuels these negative thoughts. The nagging suspicion that we’re unworthy of the awards, experience or accolades can really zap confidence. But it can be re-framed.

There are, in fact, some positive aspects to imposter syndrome.

You aren’t complacent

In general, worried people don’t rest on their laurels. They keep striving and ensuring they’re putting their best foot forward. They make sure they’ve researched the hell out of a topic, and are well informed. They are drivers for excellence.

Big goals don’t immobilise you

A large goal may frighten, but won’t immobilise someone who thinks they’re an imposter. They reach out to experts and other resource people who can help. Their fear of failure propels them to seek out the best to guarantee they can be successful.

You’re a good listener

Feeling like an imposter usually means you take the time to listen to others rather than talking about your own achievements. Most people who feel like imposters know deep down they’re good at what they do. They just need to come to peace with the thought they’re doing their very best.

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If you need to re-frame your experiences, I can help. You can gain confidence from my ebook and online course How to Win Your Next Creative Pitch. Or contact me for confidential sessions that others have found accelerated their progress in the industry.

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