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Motivate Yourself 112: Are You An Imposter?

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If you've ever thought to yourself, "One of these days everyone will find out that I'm not as clever as they think I am," then you're in good company.

Because there isn't a successful person in the world that doesn't, at some point, experience what’s often referred to as "Impostor Syndrome". A self-doubt that feeds a belief that you're actually nobody special and that any achievements you've had were nothing more than through luck than through ability.

The reason for this is, unless you are a total narcissist, we find it very hard to see when we are performing at our best.
There is usually a big difference with being the best we can be and being the best in the world, but because we tend to look at others to compare our achievements, and only with those who are the best in the world, we can easily overlook our own achievements.

Even Albert Einstein suffered from it. A month before he died, he confided to Queen Elisabeth of Belgium that "the exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler."

It seems that far too often we fall into the trap of comparing our weaknesses with others strengths. We say to ourselves, "If only I could speak as confidently as Jeff" or "If only I was as clever as Joan". Meanwhile, all the Jeffs and Joans are thinking "If only I was as creative, as funny, as calm, as forgiving" as you!

When comparing our insides with others outsides all we get is our imagination creating a perception of a reality that doesn't even exist.

Thinking this way is totally human, and it's something we all do. So it is important to be aware of it in order to prevent it from turning into negative thinking that harms our self esteem.

Remember that bravery doesn't mean feeling confident, it means feeling nervous but doing something anyway. And we need bravery to take risks, to take on challenges and pursue ideas that leave us open to the possibility of failing and of being 'found out.'

But when you stop letting your worries influence your choices in life, then you open up new doors of opportunity and discover just how much you really can do.

As a child learning how to walk there were many times that you failed. You fell over time and time again. But because you didn’t have the negative self talk to hold you back you continued to persevere, despite your past experiences, until you could walk so well that you do it without thinking. We need that same persistence and belief in ourselves as adults too.
Even if you never actually accomplish all that you aspire to, you will accomplish so much more than you otherwise would have done.

In that process you’ll come to realise that the only impostor you ever had to worry about is your fear of people thinking that you are one.
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Episode List

Episode 138: Keeping Up With The Joneses
Episode 137: The Likeable You
Episode 136: Why It's OK To Be A Loser
Episode 135: The Psychology Of Extremism
Episode 134: Are You A Lobster?
Episode 133: Critical Thinking
Episode 132: There Is Nothing Either Good Or Bad
Episode 131: The For And Against Of Imagination
Episode 130: Loneliness & Social Networks
Episode 129: Letting Go Of The Past
Episode 128: What Is Love?
Episode 127: Procrastination
Ep. 126: Who Were You Before The World Changed You?
Episode 125: Stop Saying "Sorry"
Episode 124: Emotional Contagion
Episode 123: Patience
Episode 122: Building On Your Foundations
Episode 121: Dealing With The Critics
Episode 120: Being Assertive. Just Say No!
Episode 119: Inactivity
Episode 118: Social Functioning & Evolution
Episode 117: Unleash Your Inner Superhero
Episode 116: Goals, Values and Priorities
Episode 115: 10 Tips To A Happier Life
Episode 114: Lies And Confabulation
Episode 113: Confirmation Bias
Episode 112: Are You An Imposter?
Episode 111: What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
Episode 110: Are New Years Resolutions a good idea?
Episode 109: The African Violet Queen Of Milwaukee
Episode 108: Reframing
Episode 107: Spiders And Behaviourism
Episode 106: Practise Makes Perfect
Episode 105: Fear Of Flying
Episode 100 - 104: Happiness
Episode 99: Body Image And The Media
Episode 98: Evolution and Adaptation
Episode 97: Reflections And Regrets.
Episode 96: Dealing With Fear
Episode 95: Confidence
Episode 94: Enthusiasm
Episode 93: Tips To Relieve Christmas Stress
Episode 92: Dealing With Change
Episode 87 - 91: Self Esteem
Episode 86: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
Episode 85: The Importance Of Being Lazy
Episode 84: Elephant Chains
Episode 83: Eating Bananas And Setting Goals
Episode 82: Ignoring The Media And Listening To Music
Episode 81: Awakening The Instincts
Episode 80: The Fine Line Between Love And Hate
Episode 79: The Best Medicine
Episode 78: A New Start
Episode 77: Time Distortion
Episode 76: Making Decisions
Episode 75: What's In A Name?
Episode 74: Pushing Ourselves Further
Episode 73: Conformity
Episode 72: Purpose
Episode 71: Perspective
Episode 70: Expectation
Episode 69: The Mind / Body Link
Episode 68: Overcoming Shyness
Episode 67: Mood Boosting
Episode 66: Sabotaging your goals
Episode 65: Self Talk
Episode 64: Money Makes The World Go Round
Episode 63: First Impressions Count
Episode 62: False Belief
Episode 61: Absolutes
Episode 60: The Psychology of feeling calm
Episode 59: Belief
Episode 58: Anchoring Emotions
Episode 57: Negativity and Perspective
Episode 56: Health And Happiness
Episode 55: Imagination vs Reality
Episode 54: Change