A few little ways to feel less like a fraud

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong in a room, that you were completely in the wrong place and soon the other people would realise you were a fraud, an imposter?

Imposter syndrome (which is what this is) can be completely demoralising. You feel inadequate and you doubt your abilities.

This is all psychological and it is all down to what is going on in your head, not what is happening in the outside world.

What can you do when you start to feel this way?

Something to remember is if you’re feeling like this then no doubt someone else in the room is too. It’s ok to speak out and say, I feel slightly out of my depth here with this particular topic or explain how you are feeling.

Separate what you’re telling yourself from what actually is the case, so separate feelings from facts. Be rational with this and tell yourself what you bring to the conversation and what your strengths are.

Recognise when you are doing this. Call yourself out and change the script. Instead of saying ‘I’m only being asked to attend this meeting by default’, say, ‘I’m here because of my hard work and ability’. By learning to look at things differently you are changing how you approach the situation. So change the message in your head and put your thoughts into perspective. Ask yourself is the way I’m thinking helping me or hindering me?

You may be feeling fraudulent because you’re in the minority. You may for example be one of the only women in the room (or for that matter, men in the room) but you have a right to be there as much as anyone else. Remember this.

Speak to someone with more experience in your business or someone you trust like a coach. They can provide you with a different angle and give you the tools to deal with your feelings.

Finally, don’t let these feelings stop you. If you think that you’re just there by luck, know that luck is really only a result of a lot of hard work.

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