Friday, December 27, 2013

If they only knew me...

Have you ever heard of the Impostor Syndrome? You may have felt it yourself but not known there's a name for it. Ever have this thought: If they only knew who I really was, they wouldn't hire me? Or love me? Or want me? You worry that sooner or later, someone will see through your masks and know that you're incompetent or unlovable. And they would reject you.

Apparently, even those with a long list of degrees, successful careers or an adoring public feel this way, too. Perhaps we're more aware of it in Hollywood stars than in those who are CEOs of corporations. We've heard about the needy star who craves attention and in private, deals with huge addiction issues.

However, it's also a garden-variety syndrome that plagues ordinary folks such as you and me. If you feel this way at times, don't ignore the elephant in the room. Take a good look at what it's really about. Talk about it with someone you trust (or with a life coach). Make a list your competencies and good qualities. I know, it's often easier for us to list our flaws than our positive qualities. Isn't that sad? But do try. Affirm yourself for those qualities and gifts. Know, too, that we all wear masks. They are necessary to some degree. However, some of us can do a bit of mask shedding and still be safe and secure.

If you are bothered by this syndrome, I invite you to make 2014 the year you deal with it. You don't have to let it drag you down. Don't let it steal your joy and happiness.

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