The thing I remember most about Imposter Syndrome is being frustrated by it. I knew I wasn’t a fake or a fraud but in the moments that mattered – when I had the chance to stand out or speak up – it felt so true it paralysed me.
It was the late 80’s and I was working my way up at a large blue-chip computer company. I was ambitious and outwardly confident but on the inside i was a mess. I felt so unworthy of my role that I’d make myself sick and spend hours in the bathroom barfing my guts up. No one would have guessed.
Then one day I quit. My family and friends were baffled. Some, a little disappointed. None more than me.
Solving my lack of self-worth became my priority. I read everything on Imposter Syndrome but the advice was making it worse. The more I read, the more I believed I was the victim of a syndrome. So I stopped.
Somewhere deep inside I knew I wasn’t an imposter. But if I wasn’t an imposter what was I? If I was going to rid myself of this affliction I needed to know who I was and I needed a name for it. Over time I found my word, I was going to be …. AUTHENTIC.
I’ve spent the intervening years helping myself and others to feel and be authentic. Turns out it’s not such a hard thing to do once you have a clear definition and a measurable outcome.
Here’s the one I use and teach:
Authenticity is TFA => VIP
Long hand …. Authenticity is achieved when your thoughts, feelings and actions are equal to or greater than your Values Intention and Purpose.
And here’s what it feels like:
Transparent – you have nothing to hide which means you have abundant time and energy to direct your emotional and intellectual talents into projects that matter.
Happy – you know who you are, comfortable in your own skin. You don’t need brands, labels and titles your mental wellbeing and resilience is the result of your inner world. Your reward is you.
Confident – You can be vulnerable without feeling weak, assertive without being a bully, make mistakes without feeling shame and able to put yourself first without feeling guilty.
Compassionate – your care and compassion is felt by others in a very real way because it emanates from the compassion you have for yourself.
Connected – without anything to hide you have energy to be open and available for others.
Empowered – your authority comes from within
Influential – you draw people in, they come to you because of who you are and the way you operate in the world. It is effortless Influence
No accolades, titles, awards or labels can ever make you feel like that.
But you can.
You can practice aligning your words, thoughts and actions to your values, intention and purpose. The more you practice, the more authentic you become.
If being Authentic is important to you, take the next step and book a call with me, Suzy Jacobs, Executive Communication Coach and Turn-Around Coach for Imposter Syndrome.