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Do you sometimes feel like a fraud?

Impostorism has its use

Impostorism is not altogether a bad thing. Successful people should have both enough self-awareness and enough self-doubt to question themselves.

The strange thing is that the more expert you become in a field, the stronger your feeling of impostorism.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Do you sometimes feel like a fraud?

Do you sometimes feel like a fraud?

https://www.1843magazine.com/features/do-you-sometimes-feel-like-a-fraud

1843magazine.com

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Key Ideas

Impostor syndrome

The impostor syndrome is the sense that our accomplishments are in some way underserved, no matter how consistent the evidence is to the contrary.

Impostor syndrome is an epidemic

There are several reasons why the impostor syndrome seems to have become an epidemic.

  • We have given the phenomenon a name.
  • Our preoccupation with it is the result of profound social change. Many people work in the service economy, where we create impressions rather than tangible items. 
  • Professional life today leaves us straining to redefine ourselves; we sometimes promise things we don't yet know how to do. 
  • We are no longer born into a role.
  • We can constantly compare our experiences to those of others online.
  • We can create an outward persona we know to be untrue.

The paradox of being an impostor

In order for you to believe in yourself, you need to convince someone else to believe in you. Once they believe in you, you feel more confident to believe in yourself.

When you're an impostor, you expect to be exposed at any time. You feel that at some point, someone might appear and see you for the fraud you think you are.

Impostorism has its use

Impostorism is not altogether a bad thing. Successful people should have both enough self-awareness and enough self-doubt to question themselves.

The strange thing is that the more expert you become in a field, the stronger your feeling of impostorism.

Different types of impostor

  • The Anxious Impostor has negative views of themselves that are unjustified.
  • The Hustling Impostor engages in a deliberate form of self-presentation to achieve ends that may otherwise not be possible. "Fake it till you make it."
  • The Lazy Impostor. They tell themselves that they are not up to the task because they don't really want to do it.
  • The Modest Impostor. They sincerely doubt that they are as important as others claim, but also don't want to be seen as considering themselves as superior.
  • The Wise Impostor. They acknowledge that most people have to fake it a bit, including themselves.

Impostorism is a form of arrogance

In parenting, we pretend that we know what's best for our children without really knowing. Even if our guidance makes sense, it's just guessing. Realizing this, we at first judge, and later forgive our own parents for it.

With others, we often presume that we know what other people think of our work. We should rather listen to their feedback.

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Impostor Syndrome

Is a psychological phenomenon that reflects the core belief that you are an inadequate, incompetent, and a failure, despite evidence that indicates you're skilled and successful.

Impos...

Causes of the Impostor Syndrome

From a psychological standpoint, it may be influenced by certain factors early in life, particularly the development of certain beliefs and attitude towards success and one's self-worth.

Signs You Have Impostor Syndrome
  • You don't think you deserve success.
  • You think you're a fake and you're going to be found out.
  • You attribute your success to luck.
  • You think you're not special, anyone can do what you do.
  • You can't internalize your success so you credit others for it.
  • You can't accept praise.
  • Failure is not an option.
  • You use "I'm pretty sure" or "I kind of think" because of lack of confidence.
  • You discredit your achievements.
The Impostor Syndrome
The Impostor Syndrome

It is the feeling that you are not worthy of your designation, title, position or success.

Your accomplishments may be due to luck or effort, but you feel you lack the talent or skill ...

The Reality of Impostor Syndrome
  • The impostor syndrome is like a nagging feeling that our success might be due to luck, good timing, or even a computer error.
  • It makes us think we have done nothing, and that we secretly are a fraud for taking undue credit.
  • The person suffering from an impostor syndrome lives in fear that soon the 'secret' about his true nature will be uncovered.
Self-Efficacy is the Answer

The antidote to the impostor syndrome is self-efficacy, which is about learning one's own value.

Self-efficacy is described as a perceived ability to succeed at a particular task. It means having rock-solid confidence, a supercharged belief in your ability. 

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What Self-Reflection Is
What Self-Reflection Is

Is the process of thinking back on previous events and interpreting them through your experience. 

It’s about taking a step back and reflecting on your life, behavior and beliefs....

The Importance of Self-Reflection
  • It improve self-awareness.
  • It allows you to understand and see things from a different point of view. 
  • It allows you to respond, not react.
  • It facilitates a deeper level of learning.
  • It improves confidence.
  • It makes you challenge your assumptions.
The Process of Self-Reflection
  • STOP: Take a step back from life or a particular situation.
  • LOOK: Identify and get perspective on what you notice and see.
  • LISTEN: Listen to your inner guide, the innate wisdom that bubbles up when you give it time and space to emerge.
  • ACT: Identify the steps you need to take moving forward to adjust, change or improve.

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Nilofer Merchant

"To find your people, you have to know how to signal your passions and interests and seek out theirs."

Nilofer Merchant
Communities based on practice

This type of group is united by a common activity but it's not limited to a professional one.

It also works for hobbies and interests. 

Communities based on proximity

This is a group based on being of or in a certain place.

To build such communities, use dedicated websites or use geolocation on your social media to find information about upcoming events, news and people close to you that you might find interesting.

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Systems and Goals

Systems are personal habits that we incorporate into our daily routines.

Building a better system is better than putting additional effort to correct errors, struggling to rise upwards toward...

Talking Out Loud

Talking out loud helps spell out your intentions, and provides clarity.

Talking out loud about a problem allows you to better understand the problem, provides a certain detached view of the problem by framing it differently and can help identify possible solutions.

Learning

Teaching someone makes us learn the subject well, and we can identify our areas of improvement.

Similarly, self-talking is a great way to learn, as it makes us slow down and be single-minded. This is especially helpful while doing an online course or preparing for an exam.

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Napoleon Hill...
... is the most famous con man you’ve probably never heard of. 

Born into poverty in rural Virginia at the end of the 19th century, Hill went on to write one of the most successful self-...

Hill was a charlatan

Napoleon Hill was said to be an advisor to two presidents: Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In fact, there’s no evidence whatsoever outside of Hill’s own writings that Hill met President Wilson or President Roosevelt, let alone acted as a trusted advisor to both.

Hill and Carnegie

Napoleon Hill’s most infamous claim was that he met and interviewed at length the industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1908.

Andrew Carnegie's biographer David Nasaw found no evidence of any sort that Carnegie and Hill ever met.

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Just be there
Listen. Your very presence can be a comfort to a friend. Sometimes keeping someone company while they go through their trials is a gift in itself.
Empathize

Try, “You are in a tough situation"; Sounds like you’re between a rock and a hard place"; or "I’m so sorry you have to face this kind of problem right now.”

Use the skill of tentativeness

“Tentative” means “not fully worked out, uncertain, or hesitant." 

Instead of assuming an expert stance, offer observations with a “beginner’s mind.” For example, say, “I’m not sure, but perhaps you worry that…”; or, “If you felt comfortable doing it, you could consider trying ….” 

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What you’re saying to yourself

Observe the thoughts that come up and do not judge yourself for having them. If you have unkind thoughts, ask yourself if you would speak to any other human being the same way you speak to yourself...

Find supportive people

Do not be afraid to decline invitations to events that pull you down. This will make room for the things in your life that makes you feel happy.

Find and/or make time for activities that will bring you joy.

What others appreciate about you

A kind word from someone we love and trust can go a long way. Their perspective can also help shed some light on some of our qualities we are unaware of.

Ask close friends or family what they appreciate about you. Save their words. Reread them when you need them.

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"Our Type" Of Partner

While choosing a partner, we subconsciously type-cast them. We have a particular preference for a  type of person that can provide us with a feeling of warmth and familiarity.

Dating Outside Your Type
  • Instead of dating according to a laundry list of traits and preferences, a person can get out of their comfort and familiarity zones and date other types of people.
  • One can choose a different kind of individual, breaking the unconscious habits or roles developed as a child.
  • When we start to look at others holistically rather than through a series of must-have qualities, it broadens our perspective. Let people surprise you, and surprise yourself!
See and observe

It is important to both see and to observe. As Holmes told Dr Watson: “You see, but you do not observe,”

This mental alertness, or mindfulness, is cultivated with deliberate pra...

Why mindfulness is so important to us

Over the past several decades, researchers have discovered

  • Mindfulness can lead to improvements in physiological well-being and emotional regulation.
  • Mindfulness can even enhance our levels of wisdom, both in terms of dialectism (being cognizant of change and contradictions in the world) and intellectual humility (knowing your own limitations)
  • Mindfulness can lead to improved problem solving, enhanced imagination, and better decision making.
Mindfulness is good against inattentional blindness

When we focus on one particular element in a situation or problem, our brains can cause all the other elements to ‘disappear', so that we will have no conscious experience of having ever been exposed to them.

Inattentional blindness illustrates the limitations of our attentional abilities. We can’t ever multitask the way we think we can. Something will get lost. 

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