Imposter Syndrome Explained And How It Impacts Communication

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In this lesson, you'll find imposter syndrome explained and how it impacts communication. We discuss why imposter syndrome happens, how to overcome feeling like a fraud, and how impostorism impacts communication and social interaction.

You know that feeling that has you thinking ridiculous things like “oh boy, any minute now, they’re going to find me out. They’re going to know I’m not who they thought I was and that I don’t belong here.”  

Ever get those thoughts?

That’s imposter syndrome in a nutshell. And imposter syndrome is a type of social anxiety that causes us angst and discomfort, so we’d better nip it in the bud as soon as possible.

This is particularly common among doctoral students, when you’re starting a new position, and when you get promoted unexpectedly.

It’s when you don’t think you’re deserving of something even though you worked so hard to be right where you are.

So why does this happen?

In this lesson, we’re going to explain imposter syndrome, why you might be feeling it, and ways to overcome imposter syndrome because guess what, it impacts your communication!

Let’s do this!

Why Imposter Syndrome Happens

Imposter syndrome transpires when we’re feeling insecure and when we lack confidence. It’s rooted in the belief that you’re not good enough and that you’ll be exposed as a phony. It’s when you doubt your skills and undermine your accomplishments. It’s taking modesty to an extreme because you psychologically believe that you’re faking it. 

How it Impacts Communication

Imposter Syndrome takes its toll on our confidence and self-worth. It takes a jab at our mental state. You’d better believe that it trickles down into our communication. 

When we lack clarity of mind, our social interactions become more jumbled. We give off a weird vibe and even if you don’t reveal what’s ailing you, humans are smart and pick up on something amiss, even if they can’t put a finger on it. 

In extreme cases, the person you’re communicating with might even take it personally, thinking your behavior might have something to do with them. So we need to build our mental fortitude, recognizing that being in a good place mentally enables us to be in a good place socially.

How to Get Over it

Remind yourself that you’re not there to prove anything to anyone. You don’t have to answer to anyone about the choices you’ve made or how and why you’re qualified. The proof is in the pudding. Just do your best with whatever task you have. 

If it’s overwhelmingly difficult, don’t think about it too much. Let your actions guide you. 

Do, then analyze. In other words, take action and then assess your emotional state. Not the other way around, because then you’ll risk grappling with inertia. And once Inertia has her grip on you, she’s going to put up a fight. 

So that’s why we need action – to catapult us into a steady state of momentum. Once we’re doing, we’re on autopilot and we’re not thinking about how we might be a fraud or undeserving of this undertaking.

Lastly, you have the power to change the narrative. 

Challenge that voice in your head telling you that you’re an imposter on the brink of being found out. It’s total nonsense. 

Instead rewrite the narrative and tell your little voice that you’re capable of this challenge and more. 

Our mind is powerful and sometimes it paints the most absurd pictures in our head, to our own detriment. So, change your thoughts about it and your inner voice will budge off.   

Recap

Imposter syndrome is when a doubt about your abilities infiltrates your thought patterns, causing you to feel like a phony.

It impacts your communication because if you doubt yourself, that rubs off to the people around you and can even turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Like other social anxieties, you can kick imposter syndrome to the curb by doing three things:

  1. Remember that you have nothing to prove to anyone
  2. Find your flow state and let your actions guide you instead of your analysis
  3. Rewrite the narrative because that’s in your control. Change how you perceive the situation and that you’re deserving of all you’ve accomplished. Self-pep talks go a long way.

If you behave like you’re a fraud, then people might start viewing you as a fraud and out goes your credibility. 

So be mindful of your mental state and overcome imposter syndrome with the strategies we’ve outlined here.

So now that I've shared our thoughts, I’d love to hear your own ideas about overcoming imposter syndrome. How do you shake feeling like a fraud?

Share that with me and the Explearning community in the comments down below.

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With that, have an awesome week, Explearners. 

Thank you so much for joining me and I’ll see you next time for your next Explearning lesson.

Happy Explearning ⚡