I once saw Paul Newman in a TV interview say that he always had the fear that one day someone would push through the crowd of his admirers, grab him by the arm, and say, "It's over. It was all a mistake. You are coming back to paint houses . . ."

I understood exactly what he meant. He was describing the underlying fear that your good fortune is going to end and/or that someone is going to discover that you are a fraud.

Psychologists call this "The Impostor Syndrome."

I am not a psychologist nor do I play one in this book. This book is about my obstacles and personal experiences and the strategies I've used and developed to overcome the self-doubt I lived with for many years. I thought that once I built a successful business and was receiving international acclaim for my work in the martial arts, the self-doubt would evaporate. Instead, my self-doubt returned with a new name, The Impostor Syndrome.

The Impostor Syndrome is the feeling of being a fraud. Regardless of what is going on around you, there is a nagging feeling people will find out that you are not as smart, good, talented, successful, or anything else positive, as they think you are. It's as though you aren't the person you appear to be to the rest of the world.

The dread that you are to be found out or exposed as being inadequate is always present. The resultant undercurrent of self-doubt makes it hard to strive for excellence because the more you draw attention to yourself; the more vulnerable you are to being unmasked.

Studies in the mid-1980s show that as much as 70% of successful people suffered from the Impostor Syndrome in varying degrees. It's difficult to know exactly how many people have achieved less or never even tried to succeed due to the Impostor Syndrome.

Author's Bio: 

John Graden
Professional Speaker and Author
The author of “The Imposter Syndrome: How to Replace Self-Doubt with Self-Confidence and Train Your Brain for Success,” John Graden is an internationally acclaimed speaker, author and pioneering entrepreneur. A world champion kickboxer, Graden is known worldwide as the teacher-of-teachers and master motivator.