The Struggles of Imposter Syndrome

Let’s talk about imposter syndrome!


I’ve been dancing since I was 3. I trained with some of Australia’s best and brightest receiving an outstanding dance education. I have been teaching since I first started choreographing the school dance group when I was 11, with the supervision of my school principal. I opened my studio when I was 15. I have grown it to over 700 students. I have choreographed for TV and celebrity events. My routines and my students have won national titles, and my graduates have gone on to successful careers. I have single-handedly run countless large scale events, and have worked side-by-side with leaders of our industry on many projects.


But on occasion I suffer from imposter syndrome. And apparently 70% of people experience the affects of imposter syndrome.


"Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a "fraud". Despite external evidence of their competence Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be"


People experience impostor syndrome in varying ways, but some common signs are:


Perfectionism — not recognising a success because you can only focus on the flaws

Overworking — can also be connected with perfectionism, as well as a way of avoiding finishing a project that will be judged

Undermining your achievements — pointing out your mistakes before taking ownership of a success, procrastinating and leaving things to the last minute, and then having to rush to finish

Fear of failure — putting off starting something, avoiding taking on new challenges and reluctance to ask for feedback as you can't face potentially failing

Discounting praise — pointing out other people's contributions before your own, assuming praise given is faked or exaggerated


It can affect all people in all aspects of life, but most of the research into impostor syndrome has focused on the experience in relation to work and study.


Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely confident in what I do and how I do it. Logically I’m aware of my capabilities and successes. But often I am still plagued with self-inhibiting thoughts of not being good enough, and not being an expert. I don’t think that self-confidence and impostorism are mutually exclusive. Without doubt, this has improved a lot for me over the last few years as a collated more experience and gained perspective realising what matters and what doesn’t. Sometimes I feel like symptoms of imposter syndrome are obstacles to me taking action on furthering my career and putting myself out there to achieve new dreams.


I’m interested to hear if you ever feel the same way?


If this resonates with your there is a fantastic article about what’s to overcome imposter syndrome: https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-different-types-of-imposter-syndrome-and-5-ways-to-battle-each-one

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