Impostor syndrome can happen to anyone at anytime, and it can cause us to play small in our lives. Make us feel like we’re frauds. That stinks because there’s so much good that we can do when we’re living our values and using our strengths. Our inner critic—our saboteur—can eat us alive through its endless comparisons, need to please, and perfectionism. And then I read about what can derail leadership, and this statement stopped me in my tracks:
The impostor is an overachiever.
Ouch--overachieving is my norm!
Thankfully I’ve gained more awareness of my commitments (and over-commitments) and learned to evaluate how I spend my time against my values. I even managed to have an entire week where I was home each night not too long ago—that’s never happened. My husband and I started dating in college, and back then, I had evening classes and extracurricular activities that would have prevented me from being home. I was busy earning three Bachelors degrees, leading a professional engineering fraternity on my campus, and swing dancing socially. That was years and years ago, so like I said—overachieving is my norm.
It would be unrealistic to think that I’d cut my commitments in half and do a lot less. When I'm considering a new project or opportunity, the trick is to not choose from a place of fear, like I'm not enough. It helps my "yes" to be more meaningful.