Alesha Dixon health: The Greatest Dancer judge has been ‘crippled’ by her condition

Alesha Dixon, 41, is currently starring on the BBC’s The Greatest Dancer, and her straight-talking, feisty attitude has earnt her much respect in judging talent competitions. 


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But the star isn’t always as confident as she might appear on screen.

Speaking to she revealed: “I’ve definitely been crippled by fear.

“At school I was a contradiction. Outwardly, I was a confident, brave individual who went for it and was unafraid.

“But inside, I always had a niggle in my brain, moments of self-doubt which made me question my abilities.”

It’s only recently Alesha has realised she’s been suffering from imposter syndrome.

While self-doubt is a common issue many people face, feelings such as nagging self doubt or fear of being exposed as a fraud are signs of imposter syndrome.

In a study carried out by hair brand TRESemme it was found 88 percent of working women in the UK have experience imposter syndrome at some point in their life.

One in four admit they haven’t pursued a professional dream because of lack of confidence.

Alesha, who’s been an ambassador for the brand, said: “For most of my teenage years most things petrified me.

“I remember being terrified to even pick up the phone to enquire about a street dance class I liked the sound of – but once I did, within two weeks I had been approached about joining the band.”

One poignant time for Alesha was stepping up from contestant to judge on Strictly Come Dancing in 2009.

She said: “I wouldn’t have said yes to the job if I didn’t think I could do it, but when it was announced I was joining the judging panel there was so much negative feedback and I really started to question myself.


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“I felt quite down but eventually I was able to make myself look at the bigger picture. I had to tell myself I wouldn’t have been offered the job if I wasn’t capable, and I ended up having the best three years – it’s one of the best jobs of my life.

“I could have spent three years on that panel feeling like an imposter, feeling insecure, but you only get one life and I ­realised there was no point wasting it by questioning whether I should be there or not.”

What exactly is imposter syndrome?

Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services at AXA PPP healthcare, offers a clear explanation of the fairly new phenomenon.

He said: “Imposter Syndrome is a widespread but little-known phenomenon so understanding how to overcome fraudulent feelings and nurture a more confident self – and team – will go a long way towards bolstering confidence and performance.”

To overcome feelings of imposter syndrome, Dr Winwood encourages people to be TRUE – talk, remind, use and evaluate.

T – talk to a supportive friend colleague or family member – don’t keep your fears to yourself.

R – remind yourself of your successes, document them and be inspired by your achievements.

U – use evidence to despite and diffuse your inner bully.

E – evaluate how you’ve overcome imposter comments and share your learnings with others.

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