Sometimes I am an Impostor

I recently attended the WimBiz Annual Conference and my favourite session was the Impostor Syndrome one. Why? It reminded me that I’m sometimes an impostor.

Impostor syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context. –

Listening in on the session brought to light the number of times I have felt unworthy of being called competent, the times I have downplayed my accomplishments, the times I have refused to accept a compliment.

The ladies around me had the same thoughts, we briefly discussed certain instances where we felt we were ‘frauds’. What I loved about the session was how real and open the speakers were, there’s nothing like honest conversation.

A few years ago, I remember being introduced as a hospitality guru, the go-to person when it comes to knowing hotels, setting up a hotel… I must confess that I downplayed this as I didn’t think I had achieved much. I simply smiled and muttered something like ‘oh she’s exaggerating’…. I was unable to own the person being described, even though this was truly me.

I had a conversation with a friend recently and she was asking my opinion on how much to charge for her services. She was proposing half of what is industry standard, why? She is freelancing and not working for a big organisation. I immediately recognised what was going on right there and reminded her that she was a professional and had earned the right to charge.

It’s really and truly easy to feel like a fraud, downplaying who you are and your accomplishments. Do you know that it starts with simple things like not being able to accept compliments? – Someone says ‘You look nice’, your response is ‘really? I didn’t even make an effort’. How about smiling and accepting the compliment? This is easy and can be done.

I have been reminding myself that I am worthy, not a fraud… Having positive affirmations and declarations have helped tremendously. There is absolutely nothing wrong with self-affirmation. Remember to love yourself, own yourself. The more you do this, the more you can own your achievements.

This weekend, I encourage you to recognise the impostor and kick it out.


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