top of page
  • Jeannie Scott

Feel Like a Fake? How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome as an Introvert

“I don’t deserve to be where I am.”

“Everyone is going to realise that actually I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“Everyone’s looking at me, because they know that I’m not 100% confident in myself.”

“They’re all talking about me behind my back.”

Sound familiar?

Have you ever had that dream where you’re stood on stage – maybe you’re giving a speech; TEDx talk, performing, leading a board meeting, a key-note speech etc. and you’re feeling great about it; you’re in the zone.

Suddenly you look down and you’re naked.

Then you look up and everyone in the audience is either horrified or laughing uproariously at you.

Well, that’s kinda what imposter syndrome feels like. It’s this feeling that at some point, you’re going to be found out as a fraud in front of everyone and suffer massive humiliation.

We introverts tend to be more self-reflective. Which is a wonderful trait to have. But all that self-reflection, like an unwatched pot, can boil over into feelings of ‘not-enoughness’ and inadequacy. So, you’re sat in a boardroom; or you’re teaching a lesson; or you’re making waves in your biz, but suddenly you look down and you’re naked (not literally) - you feel exposed.

So how can you overcome imposter syndrome?

Firstly, meet yourself where you're at.

Nothing changes, until you accept where you are right now. Trying to ignore those feelings of ‘nakedness’ and imposter syndrome won’t help them go away. In fact, it will just bury them for a bit, before they grow and fester.

Let’s start with what introverts do best; a bit of self-reflection. Take an audit of the times you’re experiencing these feelings. Ask yourself these questions (journal on them if you have that practice):

What am I telling myself when I experience it?

Are there particular scenarios when it feels at its worst?

Do I imagine specific situations (like the naked speech scenario)?

What feelings are coming up for me?

Where do I feel those feelings in my body?

It’s natural to want these uncomfortable feelings to just go away, because, well, they’re uncomfortable. But first you have to get radically honest with yourself about what you’re feeling.

Next, you gotta take off the extroverted mask you’re wearing.

You don’t need to be a social butterfly to achieve the kind of success you have already, and will, achieve. Faking extroversion, because that’s what you think is required of you, is exhausting. And if you’re coming at the situation from a place of inauthenticity, then you’re putting yourself on the back foot.

Wearing that extroverted mask means that you’re hiding something. So those feelings of imposter syndrome are just going to be exaggerated, because you’re already hiding.

You’ve got to embrace your introverted strengths and quirks. Make sure you’re putting boundaries in place that support your introverted needs so that you can look after your energy and thrive (rather than just survive). Even if you’re working in a traditionally extroverted industry.

Finally, put your focus on 'the other'.

A tip I learned at drama school and have taken into every aspect of my life since. Focus on the other, in the acting context, means focus on what you want the other person (your scene partner, or the audience if it’s a monologue) to do, as a result of your actions – your 'call to action' if you want to put it in marketing speak.

So, how can you use this technique for imposter syndrome?

Well, if we use the example of the naked speech again (sorry, I had to); you’re doing a speech; or you’re leading a meeting; or maybe you’re just trying to show up online for you audience, and you start telling yourself:

“Everyone is going to realise I don’t know what I’m talking about. They're going to see I'm a fraud!”

In that situation, the spotlight is turned to you. It’s all about you.

But what if it wasn’t all about you? What if it was about the people you’re speaking to? What if it was about the message you’re conveying? The message that's meant to inspire your audience to stand up and do something?

Turn the spotlight outwards. Be so focused on the message, or the call to action for your audience, that you don’t have time to focus on yourself or whether you’re a fraud or not.

P.S. This system works for extroverts too!

Wait, who even am I?

I'm Jeannie, an introverted actor, empowerment coach and breathwork facilitator. I help high achieving, but exhausted and burned out introverted women create energetic freedom and the confidence to show up as themselves, in a world that demands extroversion. Are you an ambitious af introverted woman looking to make waves in your industry? Are you read to take off the extroverted mask? Get in touch! You can book in a free no-strings-attached call with me to discuss what you're struggling with, and what needs to happen to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Click here.

bottom of page