17th April 2018
In an extract from her book “Being More Confident” Charlotta Hughes explains why there’s no reason to feel like an imposter:
Have you achieved things but simply can’t enjoy them or take credit for them? Perhaps you’re climbing the career ladder, you’re raising a healthy and happy family or you have lots of friends and an active social life, yet you feel it’s all been a fluke? Or you feel you’re just doing what anyone in your situation would do so your efforts aren’t special, or anything to feel proud or confident about?
You may be suffering from what is known as ‘Imposter Syndrome’. Clinical psychologists P R Clance and S A Imes first came up with this term to describe ‘high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalise their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”’.
If this rings bells with you, you may say to yourself things like, ’You have no idea of what you’re doing, it’s only a matter of time until you’re found out’.
What’s actually likely to be true is that there are many examples in your life demonstrating your competence and abilities, however you’re habitually dismissing or overlooking them.
Imposter Syndrome is a surprisingly common condition. In fact, it is believed that around 70% of the world population suffers from such feelings at some point in their lives. So take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone, and that this feeling is totally normal, although it doesn’t mean it’s true!
 Pauline R Clance, The Imposter Phenomenon: Overcoming the Fear That Haunts Your Success, Peachtree, 1985