Kicking Imposters Butt

This post was originally published on 21st September 2018 and updated on 19th July 2020.

Last night, I managed to stop the little blighters from attack!

Who are the little blighters? I hear you ask.

That would be the ‘imposters’. Before you think I’ve gone completely nuts, the ‘imposters’ are the little nagging voices in my head who frequently try to tell me I’m a fraud.

If you’ve read my blog post ‘Onions‘ you’ll know that in 2018 I discovered I was ‘suffering’ from Imposter Syndrome.

For those of you who’ve never heard of Imposter Syndrome, it’s a feeling of doubting your accomplishments and feeling like a fraud.

Last night, for the first time, I was able to fight back against the imposters. There was no way I was going to let them win this time.

For the last 6 months I had been attending Board meetings for the small company I work for, either to report back to board on a particular subject or in my brief stint as joint acting CEO. This was a challenge of epic proportion for me. We had a brand new board with some big characters, and I wasn’t particularly keen on public speaking. It had gone as well as it could and the Board seemed to appreciate my being there.

However, last night’s meeting was the first one with our new CEO in attendance. In addition, we were joined by another member of the team, who was there to provide a report linked to my section of the meeting.

Naturally, I felt a little bit of pressure with the new CEO being there, but for some reason, the person who nearly released the imposters ready for an almighty invasion, was my other colleague, who just simply oozed confidence and charm. He completely smashed his report, the Board loved him, and I walked away thinking he had done a much better job than me. On my short walk back to the underground, I started to convince myself that after my colleagues ‘performance’ that maybe the Board would think our senior management team would benefit from him being part of the management team rather than me.

I was proud of my colleague, but I was also envious. He had presented with so much ease. He was clear, concise and had wrapped the room around his little finger.

On the journey home, I tried to remember some of the skills my life coach had taught me in one of our earlier sessions. One of the tactics we had spoken about was to think of positive things that had happened to me during the day in order to quash the imposters before they took over. It was far from easy. I genuinely thought I hadn’t done anything well that day.

Then, I got a grip of myself. Within minutes I was compiling a mental list of all the things that had actually gone really quite well. In fact, it turned into a decent sized list.

Later on that evening, I received a text from my CEO congratulating me on my update and saying it had been a “really authoritative update…“. Automatically my mind told for some reason, that this comment was negative! What did he mean by authoritative?? Did this mean I came across as bossy? Rude even?

I have to admit, for someone who has a good understanding of the English language, and who aspires to be a writer, I had to google the word ‘authoritative‘ to fully understand what it meant in this context. I cursed myself afterwards for thinking so negatively. Of course it wasn’t negative. It was a compliment. And a bloody good one at that!

I guess part of the battle is being aware of the imposters. I was annoyed at myself for having almost let those negative thoughts take over. However, I’m also incredibly proud of myself for having recognised that they were creeping in. Before they could take over, I was able to find a quick solution, and managed to kick their squidgy little butts out of my head.

They are now firmly locked back up in their cage, allowing me to crack on without a dark cloud, or an imposter in sight.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. I did not realise that your working environment had such traumas attached! So sorry for that! Maybe too many ‘imposters’ in the workplace… stay strong, won’t you. You can achieve all you desire!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Andi, yeah who would’ve thought football could be so traumatic 🙈 It’s another reason I’m working on my life mission. It’s time to get out of negative environments and into something positive and rewarding ☺️ hope you and your clan are well ✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Positivity is certainly ‘the light’! I agree, it’s best to leave the ‘negativity in shadow’.

        Let’s just avoid the shadows! 😉

        Everyone hear are well and thank you for asking 😃

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Glad to hear your all well ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ab says:

    I’m sorry. Imposter syndrome is a tough one to crack but it sounds like you are working through it with a process that works. If it’s any consolation, I often find those who suffer from imposter syndrome are often the ones who don’t need to. You sound like you are doing a great job! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Ab ☺️ That means a lot ✨it’s much easier to understand now that I at least know what it is. I used to suffer terribly with what I can only describe as a dark cloud over my head. It was always triggered by work and could leave me feeling awful for weeks. At least by knowing what it is, I know that a) I’m nit going crazy, and b) finding coping mechanisms has been a huge game changer 😀🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ab says:

        I am glad to hear you have found coping mechanisms. Imposter syndrome – and that guilt of feeling like a fraud or unworthy – can be so crippling and paralyzing. I obviously don’t know your situation but one thing that has often helped me through my struggles with this is that I was given an opportunity because I clearly demonstrated something to earn it. And I also have the skills to work through any challenges and uncertainties thrown at me. That has always helped me get through things. So I wanted to share that. Good luck and continued best wishes!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s fantastic Ab! Thank you so much for sharing that with me, definitely something else to try next time the imposters come calling. Best Wishes ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. inspirechief says:

    I call mine “Doubt Demons.” They are always lurking but I can fight them back. I do the same as you. I think about all the success I have had.
    Never compare yourself with others. Be the best you. You are as good as you want to be. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I love that name for them! I’m glad you have a way of dealing with your Doubt Demons 🙂 Such great words of advice 🙏🏻 I hope you had a lovely weekend ✨

      Liked by 1 person

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