Breakfast Briefing with Martin Murphy on Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Breakfast Briefing with Martin Murphy on Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

July 17, 2019 12:06 pm Published by 1 Comment

Martin started off our Breakfast Briefing with a newspaper image of Ed Sheeran saying he had social anxiety. It seemed like a strange slide to begin with but then came the realisation that social anxiety is a form of imposter syndrome, and even superstar musicians can suffer from it. 

In fact a study of 3,000 UK adults found 62% have experienced imposter syndrome in the last 12 months and 86% of adults aged 18-34 suffer with it. Interestingly people aged 45-54 were least likely to experience it and Martin reminded us that’s because as you get older you don’t care as much.  

With more young professionals being affected by the thought of being a professional fraud, how can we combat this and achieve our goals?

Martin informed us that we are meant to experience imposter syndrome as that’s part of society. However there are ways to overcome the feeling. 

Firstly adopt a TRG mindset. Think Tenacious, Resilience and Growth. There are some things which you can’t control and you need to learn how to face those situations, combat them and then think about what you’ve learnt to change your mindset for future challenges.

Things got really interesting when Martin held an an arrow at a volunteers chest and asked them to snap the arrow by walking forwards to get £10. As well as being highly entertaining the lesson of this was about commitment and to remember PACT – Purpose, Acceptance, Commitment and Take Action. 

  • What is your sense of purpose? As pointed out, this can be a daunting question. However, it’s not necessarily about what you can do to change or impact the world. Rather, it is important to understand what you want to do, and then to consider what you can do with where you are and what you have.
  • You have to accept that sometimes life is pain and you’re going to face challenges. You might not feel happy all the time but that isn’t abnormal. 
  • No matter what happens you have to commit to the things you want to do and achieve and ensure you give it your all. Like with the arrow demonstration, the volunteer would never be able to snap the arrow if they didn’t walk forward with commitment and force. 
  • Don’t just say things, make sure you act on them.

Another opportunity for a volunteer to gain £10 arose and this time all the volunteer had to do was state what the note was worth, once when Martin pulled it out of his wallet and after he had crumpled and stood on it. Of course the crumpled note had the same value it did when it was first pulled out of the wallet. The lesson being here that if you know your self worth, even after going through difficult times it should still be the same if you believe that. 

Martin then moved on to state that Imposter syndrome will only change if you change the way you think. So be your inner coach, if you start to feel like a fraud then stop what you’re doing, calm your body and mind and control your thinking to focus on the positives and your accomplishments. As Martin said being born, riding a bike and driving a car are things many people can say they’ve achieved. 

It’s important not to ask negative questions like why, but instead how. For example don’t think ‘why don’t I have more free time?’ but ‘how can I get more free time?’

Finally make sure you know yourself. Like having a purpose if you know yourself and what you want to achieve you have power, so don’t give that power away by having doubts. And if you do feel the panic then go back to SAFE mode. State, Affirmation, Focus and Exhale.

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