Have you ever felt like you were pretending to be a wedding planner, rather than actually being one? Sometimes our minds can be our own worst enemy.
Did you know there’s actually a condition known as Impostor Syndrome? It was first recognized by two psychologists in 1978 as a feeling of phoniness in high achievers who aren’t able to accept their success. It’s estimated that the majority of individuals suffer from it. While it isn’t an official mental diagnosis, it is recognized by psychologists as a very real form of self-doubt, which can lead to anxiety and depression.
Notable individuals such as Albert Einstein, Don Cheadle, Kate Winslet, Jody Foster and Maya Angelou have admitted to feeling like an impostor. Academy Award Winner, Jody Foster, said she was afraid she’d be asked to give back her Oscar. Multi-award winning poet, Maya Angelou, said each time she published a book she was afraid she’d finally be revealed as a fraud.
I was once in a coaching group with about a dozen very successful women. I was stunned when the concept of Impostor Syndrome was brought up and every woman in the group (including me) admitted to feeling like they were faking their success. It was an eye opener, since I had always thought I was struggling because of my own inner weirdness.
When something comes easy to us, it's difficult to grasp that our knowledge is valuable. Click To Tweet I remember a final planning meeting for one my brides, who was an OB/GYN. The venue coordinator and I were tossing around routine table and linen sizes, such as ‘60” rounds’ and ‘90x132s’. My extremely well educated bride shook her head in bewilderment and said, “I have no idea what you two are talking about.”
Obviously, she knows a lot more about medicine than I ever will, but I possessed a different knowledge. I knew how to make sure each guest had a place to sit and each table had the correct size linen. That’s a knowledge the general public doesn’t have, and it’s one of the reasons I’m the real thing!
If you struggle with Impostor Syndrome, here are some ways to get past it:
- Impostor Syndrome tends to coexist with perfectionism. Face the fact that you’re not perfect. Neither is anyone else. Rather than tweaking a blog post to perfection, get it out there. It needs to be good, but it doesn’t have to be great. You can always tweak it after it’s published.
- High achievers tend to focus more on what they haven’t done, rather than on what they have done. Make a list of all you have accomplished to date. Focus on your accomplishments instead of your shortcomings.
- Serve as a mentor to novice wedding planners. Not only will you be giving back, but as you teach them, you’ll realize how much knowledge you have.
- Recognize what you’re good at and acknowledge what you don’t do well. No one can be good at everything. (I know, it’s so hard for us perfectionists to admit!)
- Set realistic goals. You don’t have to be a celebrity wedding planner to be a great wedding planner.
The good news? Mediocre individuals rarely suffer from Impostor Syndrome. If you feel like a fraud, you’re probably a high achiever who is well on your way to success. Click To Tweet