The fall from being a high achiever to imposter syndrome

The fall from being a high achiever to imposter syndrome and how this changed my life!


As a high achiever, I am always driven to get the best grades, win competitions and climb the ladder to the highest point. Whilst there are many pros about being a high achiever like:

  • you will have something to be proud of 
  • you take pride in your work
  • you have abundant resources to make your life what you want it to be
  • you are focused in getting things done
  • everything you do in life is driven by goals 

... there are also cons to being a high achiever too:

  • you hold yourself to perfectionist standards
  • you're afraid of failing
  • you believe you're only as good as your last accomplishment
  • you tend to overcomplicate things
  • you don't take time to appreciate your successes
  • you're prone to burnout
  • you’re prone to imposter syndrome 

How to identify imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome is defined as "the psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a fraud."

There are three personality types of imposter syndrome:

  1. the perfectionist 
  2. the pleaser
  3. the pusher

Perfectionists set really high goals for themselves and are afraid of failing and if they do it brings feelings of self-doubt and worry. They love to be in control and feel if they want something done in life, it's more effective to do it themselves. 

Pleasers. People pleasers find it hard to place to say “no” and to implement healthier boundaries of a fear of not being liked. They prioritise the needs of others above their own and can stretch themselves so thin that they become irritated.

Pushers wait until they have been set a task and they make sure that the task is completed, even if this means missing basic tasks such as toilet breaks, mealtimes, and even sleep - as stopping for a break is a rule breaker to this personality type.

Coaching offered me a great support network where I could talk openly about my feelings and challenges with someone non-judgmental. I was introduced to models and techniques that could help me to build rock-solid beliefs, identify my resourcefulness and implement behavioural changes. 

One of my favourite coaching models is the Anthony Robbins Beliefs table exercise. It is a fun and simple tool to turn a goal into a belief using effective language. 

Everything you need is already inside of you. 

The table demonstrates that a belief can be met as the tabletop is the belief and the legs that hold up that belief are the proof of supporting evidence that shows how this belief can be met. 

Our brain will look for those evidential pieces of information to hold that belief in place. For example:

  • My goal is “I want a promotion”
  • My belief is “I can get a promotion”.
  • Evidence to support this:
    • I have passed previous interviews before.
    • I have won a business award in 2021
    • I have great appraisals.
    • I have all the skills required to succeed. 

Through the power of coaching, I can help you to work through imposter syndrome and to discover your own resourcefulness to assist you in moving forward to reach your goals. 

Everything you need is already inside of you. Let’s sail together on your ocean of life in this transformational journey to your positive future.

Contact me to book your sessions. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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