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My imposter syndrome journey

Updated: Jan 16

I had worked in a tourism business for almost 5 years when the MD offered me a new role. It was a great opportunity to manage and oversee the Cornish part of the business - lots of challenge, a big team and yes, I got to move to Cornwall. My initial thought was ‘He can’t mean ME. There must be some mistake’.

As we talked further, I realised he did mean me. So my second thought was ‘Maybe they have no other option and I’m the best they’ve got.’ It didn’t occur to me that maybe I had worked hard for the job or that I had the skills and knowledge they were looking for.

So I went. But the self-doubt stayed for a long time. I would frequently question how everyone else knows what to do and I didn’t? Fears of being ‘found out’ plagued me and a big part of me felt like I was just playing dress-up in this big new job.

I didn’t know about imposter syndrome at the time. I simply thought I was rubbish and that somehow they’d been tricked into thinking I was good at what I did. Now, imposter syndrome is widely talked about and it is referenced that over 70% of people (men and women) experience imposter-like feelings.

Over 70% of people experience imposter-like feelings

I can’t say I never feel this way now - I still have self-doubt and question myself. But I have learnt that lots of other people feel this too. Especially hugely successful people who we assume have all the confidence in the world.

Michelle Obama famously said:

"It [imposter syndrome] doesn't go away, that feeling that you shouldn't take me that seriously. What do I know? I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is."

I work on building my confidence and self-belief every day. I challenge my negative self talk and replace it with kind, loving words. If you would like to start to challenge your imposter within, I regularly run workshops on helping you build confidence and overcome imposter syndrome. Find out more, here.

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