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Jermaine Jenas has scored many goals in his life, both figuratively and literally. He spent years playing professional football before forging a career in television as a football pundit. Jermaine’s latest gig has been on The One Show, occasionally stepping in as a co-host.
Self-belief may seem second nature to Jermaine but appearances can be deceiving.
Jermaine has grappled with imposter syndrome at various points in his career.
The football pundit opened up about experience with the self-belief issue on the British Army podcast The Locker.
Jenas spoke candidly to openly gay soldier named Connor, providing a concrete definition for what can seem a vague and fuzzy concept.
“First and foremost, imposter syndrome is dealing with a lack of confidence and feeling like you don’t belong in a certain environment,” Jenas explained to FourFourTwo about the podcast.
“People might be surprised to hear that even elite-level footballers have these periods throughout their career where they feel like this.”
He continued: “It’s about figuring out ways that you can get through it, and I know during my time, I was left alone to figure it out yourself, rather than have a conversation with someone going through something similar.”
He went on to reveal how managers and coaches did not provide the support and space to open up, often brushing it off.
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What is imposter syndrome?
It is hard to pin down a clinical definition for imposter syndrome, but psychologists have provided their thoughts on the phenomenon.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychologists and others acknowledge that it is a very real and specific form of intellectual self-doubt.
A test was recently developed with the explicit aim of providing a more standardised assessment of the condition.
The test, called the Clance Imposter Phenomenon Test, was developed by Nickolas Means, a developer based in Texas.
It consists of 20 statements and asks you to select the answer that best indicates how true the statement is of you.
Examples include ‘I avoid evaluations if possible and have a dread of others evaluating me’, and ‘I’m afraid people important to me may find out that I’m not as capable as they think I am.’
Based on your answers, you’ll then be given a score from 0-100, with 0 indicating you have no Impostor Syndrome, and 100 an intense feeling of impostorism.
How to respond
According to the APA, recognise yourself in the description of the impostor phenomenon, there are ways to overcome it.
One useful tip is to recognise your expertise.
The APA explains: “Don’t just look to those who are more experienced for help, however.
“Tutoring or working with younger students, for instance, can help you realise how far you’ve come and how much knowledge you have to impart.”
Other key tips include:
- Talk to your mentors
- Remember what you do well
- Realise no one is perfect
- Change your thinking
- Talk to someone who can help.
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