An Approach to Impostor Syndrome

xkcd for the win!

We have all had that self-doubt at times, wondering if we were really qualified to do what we do. In some people it becomes debilitating, preventing them from pursuing opportunities.

Most of us suck it up and struggle through the self-doubt, usually with some version of “fake it till you make it.”

I heard a new approach yesterday in an interview with Todd Herman, an internationally recognized coach. He suggests having an alter-ego who has qualities that you lack. For example, he is often indecisive, but his business alter-ego has no such problem. He assumes his other identity by putting on glasses (which he does not need).

This reminds me of when my daughter had to do unpleasant tasks, like cold-calling for donations for fundraisers. She has a theater background, and she became “Fundraiser Jenny.” People weren’t rejecting Jen; they were saying no to the other character.

I’m going to try this for some upcoming situations and see how it works. How about it? Do you ever assume a secret identity?

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