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Four Ways Your Imposter is Taking a Ringside Seat at Work

Written by: Andrea Ryan, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Ever sat in a meeting and neglected to offer up your opinion, then kick yourself as someone answers exactly what you were thinking?

Ever wanted to ask for a promotion but looked at your likely competition and retreated into your corner of the boxing ring?

Ever been so paralyzed by your thoughts that you end up leaving your job? It’s time to get into the boxing ring with your imposters, or if you’re looking for a more compassionate approach, invite them round for a cuppa.

The latest research on Imposter Syndrome states, "52% of female respondents had struggled with Imposter Syndrome ‘regularly’ or ‘daily’ in the past year."

Not only that, but it’s a driving factor of top performers leaving companies. It can affect your attendance, your productivity, and your leadership style and development. On a personal note, it can lead to addictions and mental health challenges.

Go Toe to Toe with Your Imposter

Many of my clients vary on how well they know and spar with their imposter, from accepting that they don’t need to be the expert, allowing them to move forward and start their own business to thinking of leaving a high paying management role because they think they’re not good enough, despite the trail of success behind them.

Be aware that our imposters make life-changing decisions for us and will continue to do so if you don’t knock them out or induce a caffeine coma.

Here are 4 Ways Your Imposter is Betting Against You

1. Not putting yourself forward for a role or promotion.

The classic ‘I’m not good enough’ and ‘who am I to think I can apply for that’ comes into play here. Your Imposter will tap into your limiting beliefs and serve you all the reasons why you’re not good enough until you go down. Take off the gloves and reveal all the evidence against them of your past and present achievements to have a fighting chance.

2. Turning down opportunities when you really want to go for them.

You could have been asked to take part in a pilot project or lead a team on a new initiative or been offered the opportunity to attend a 2-day course with other managers. You find yourself on the ropes as your imposters tell you ‘this is how you’ll get found out,’ ‘you’re a fraud.’ Dodge your imposters by recognizing that you know what you don’t know, and you’ll learn along the way, then push yourself to step into the ring.

3. Not expanding your networks.

‘What if someone asks me what I do? What will I say?’ ‘I have to get my pitch-perfect, so I’ll go next time.’ ‘Let's not pull any punches. You just don’t have the confidence.’ Your imposter will yell. Networking opens up so many opportunities, so put up your dukes and purposefully seek out people you know might be there; have 3 main points about you ready to share, but most of all, be yourself.

4. Not completing important projects.

Being in charge of projects and adhering to deadlines is all part of the job, right? You may have just launched a project, getting ready to present findings, or approaching a deadline, but something is stopping you. Your imposter serves you a right hook. If you have to confirm that you’re exposing yourself, then a left hook, it’s not 100% perfect. You’ll need to stay really late tonight. Wear your imposter down by breaking tasks into bite-sized chunks to make them more manageable.

If you need a referee between you and your imposter, download my free imposter syndrome booklet or get in touch.

How is Imposter Syndrome Affecting Business — 2019 Imposter Syndrome Research Study by Clare Josa

For more information, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website!


Andrea Ryan, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Andrea Ryan, founder of Limitless Women, is an accredited Women in Leadership Coach and Imposter Hunter, empowering women to step into positions of power and lead within their personal lives, careers and businesses.

Andrea is an expert in working with women and companies that want to make big changes. With a 20-year executive career, heading up brand and marketing strategy and leadership across the disability employment sector, sport and as an award-winning business development director in a mental health Not for Profit. She works with smart, successful women to articulate their ‘why’: the core essence of who they are-their personal brand. Her clients are empowered to develop their leadership style, overcome imposter syndrome, build powerful brands, embrace positive psychology, and find purpose.



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