Do you ever feel like a fraud?
Do you feel like everyone around you is more qualified, more capable, and better at what they do than you are?
Or that people will find out that you really don’t know what you’re doing?
If so, then you might be suffering from Impostor Syndrome.
It’s a feeling of inadequacy despite achievement, and it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or educational level. Even American actress, comedian, writer, and producer, Tina Fey admits to having experienced it at times during her career!
And the crazy part is that most people experience it – whether they’re just starting their business or they’re making their first million.
Although it’s common to experience Impostor Syndrome from time to time, when experienced on a daily basis it can become a barrier to living up to your potential.
But don’t worry – there are ways to overcome it.
In this article, I’m going to share with you some tips on how to manage feelings of, and how to overcome Impostor Syndrome to reclaim your self-confidence.
Impostor Syndrome can manifest itself in many different ways: feelings of inadequacy, fear of failure, or even perfectionism. It can be very debilitating and limit our ability to reach our goals.
Fortunately, there are strategies we can use to help us navigate this difficult experience. From changing our mindset and challenging negative thoughts to seeking support from others – I’ll show you how to overcome impostor syndrome by taking back control and make the most of your potential.
In this article, we'll take a look at:
1. Consider The Facts
Once you have identified the feelings of Imposter Syndrome, it is time to consider the facts.
Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to recognize your successes and appreciate them for what they are.
Remind yourself that successful people often experience these same feelings of inadequacy – it’s not just you!
Ask yourself questions such as “am I really not qualified for this?” or “are other people really more knowledgeable?”
You’ll be surprised, but often your thoughts about being an impostor are completely false and not based on facts at all.
It also helps to remember that professional life can be a learning opportunity. You don’t have to know everything right away; focus on growth and learning as opposed to perfectionism. Try to view mistakes as chances to learn rather than evidence of incompetence.
2. Reframe How You View Failure
It’s time to re-frame how you view failure. Instead of viewing it as a personal failure, try to look at it as an opportunity for growth and learning.
Take it one step further and use positive reinforcements to help you move on from mistakes or setbacks.
For instance, instead of telling yourself “I’m so bad at this,” try saying “I can do better next time.” This small shift in perspective can make a big difference.
By taking actionable steps like this, you can start to build up your resilience when it comes to dealing with failure.
3. Look To Role Models
Find accomplished women in similar fields as role models or mentors, it can give you the extra boost of confidence needed to move forward.
When you find yourself comparing yourself to others negatively, pause and think about how your role model would handle the situation instead. Think about whether she would back down or downplay her accomplishments. And recognize that you are a strong woman, just like she is, and you can overcome those nagging imposter feelings when you’re ready to.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
One of the most important steps to overcoming impostor syndrome is to stop comparing yourself to others because comparison is often at the root of impostor syndrome.
It can be easy to slip into a negative voice and feel like you don’t measure up, but these feelings of inadequacy won’t help you reach your goals.
Instead, focus on developing your strengths and acknowledge that everyone has their unique journey.
Here are three tips for avoiding comparison:
- Learn to recognize and appreciate your successes instead of looking at what everyone else has accomplished.
- Often when you see someone else’s success you’re seeing the outcome of their efforts over the long term. Don’t compare your short-term efforts to someone else’s long-term accomplishments.
- Acknowledge that success means different things to different people, and there is no universal definition of success.
5. Recognize Your Strengths
Recognizing and appreciating your strengths is a crucial step to overcoming Impostor Syndrome.
One way to start recognizing your strengths is by keeping an evidence list of all the positive accomplishments in your personal life and career growth.
Reflecting on the times when you’ve done something that made you proud or felt good about yourself can help remind you that you are capable of great things.
Making a list of these successes can also help to break down any feelings of inadequacy that arise from impostor syndrome.
Be sure to review your list often, especially when you’re experiencing feelings of self-doubt.
6. Celebrate Your Achievements
Acknowledge that you have worked hard to get to where you are, and be proud of how far you’ve come!
Take some time out of your day to reflect on the successes that have come from your efforts, no matter how small they may seem. This will help you recognize that there is value in all of your experiences, both good and bad.
Celebrate even the smallest wins!
Take a little dance break, make yourself your favorite cup of tea, or call a friend to say “look what I did!”.
Don’t shy away from celebrating yourself, ever! Self-celebration is not egotistical. It’s reveling in the pleasure of success and accomplishments and recognizing your hard work and contribution to the world.
7. Don’t Let It Define You
It’s also important to remember that while Impostor Syndrome can feel overwhelming at times, it doesn’t define who you are as an individual.
Acknowledge the thoughts and feelings associated with impostor syndrome without letting them hold you back from achieving your goals.
The key is to recognize yourself as so much more than just what you achieve. You are an infinitely valuable, multi-faceted, amazing person that can do anything you set your mind to!
When you focus on what you have accomplished and do not get stuck in negative thought patterns or cycles, you break free of the self-doubt paralyzing you.
8. Stop Expecting Perfection
It’s easy to expect ourselves to achieve perfection in every aspect of life. But this can lead to feelings of inadequacy, holding back, and self-sabotage. All of which are common symptoms of impostor syndrome.
Many times, people who suffer from impostor syndrome find that they have very high expectations of themselves. They feel that they should know everything ahead of time and get everything right the first time.
Unfortunately, that’s just not possible! Otherwise, babies would pop out of the womb as doctors and professors and not as little learning machines.
Instead, we have to realize that learning and making mistakes along the path are all part of the process of becoming successful.
9. Know That You’re Good Enough
Impostor syndrome can make us feel like we’re not good enough, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.
In our culture, many people learn that their worth is defined by their achievements and successes.
Perhaps you have memories of your parents rewarding good grades, or achievements, but being very upset or hard on you when you failed to bring home an A or a gold ribbon.
These lessons we learn as children can become buried deep in our subconscious and cause us to have impostor feelings as an adult.
When you can disentangle your worth from your achievements you become empowered to no longer feel as though a failure, or feeling like an impostor, can demolish your self-worth.
Be kind to yourself when mistakes are made or progress isn’t as fast as you’d like. And don’t make it mean something about your value.
10. Seek Support And Discuss It
It can be difficult to acknowledge our strengths and successes on our own, which is why seeking support from others is so important.
Talking about impostor syndrome with people we trust can help us put things into perspective and remind us that everyone experiences similar feelings at some point in their lives.
Impostor syndrome often comes with a great deal of shame. Yet shame is only ever dismantled in the company of others.
This is why it can be so beneficial to talk to mentors or coaches who can normalize your feelings and who can help guide you to come out to the other side with a stronger sense of self-worth and confidence.
Sharing our struggles with impostor syndrome with those around us can provide a sense of relief as well as an opportunity for growth. We can use these conversations to gain insight into how we think and act, allowing us to identify and challenge any limiting beliefs that are holding us back.
11. Take On New Challenges
While it can be difficult to accept, impostor syndrome can be an advantage in some ways.
It can motivate us to keep pushing ourselves and make sure we’re always striving for more. Rather than letting fear or uncertainty stop us from taking risks and trying new things, we can use it as a tool to propel us forward.
Making use of the feeling of being an imposter doesn’t mean we have to ignore our accomplishments or undervalue our work; rather, it’s about embracing our successes and using them as fuel for further growth.
We don’t have to shy away from any challenge that comes our way; instead, we should see our struggles as opportunities to learn something new and continue growing.
This could include presenting at an event or going live on IG for the first time.
The more you do difficult things the more you believe you CAN do difficult things!
By addressing impostor syndrome head-on you show yourself what you’re capable of achieving.
By keeping this mindset, we can use impostor syndrome as a source of motivation rather than a source of anxiety.
12. Distinguish Humility And Fear
When it comes to impostor syndrome, it can be hard to distinguish between humility and fear.
We often try to downplay our successes or accomplishments and feel like we don’t deserve the recognition or success that we’ve achieved.
However, this can be a sign of fear rather than humility.
True humility is an appreciation of our accomplishments. It’s understanding that everyone has greatness within them to contribute. Plus it’s realizing that there is still much more to learn and do to reach our goals.
On the other hand, fear is an emotion that stops us from believing in ourselves and our abilities. It can cause us to doubt our capabilities or become overwhelmed with anxiety at the thought of taking on something new or difficult.
To combat these feelings, it’s important to recognize when they are coming up and take steps to push release them such as allowing yourself to feel the uncomfortable emotions.
13. Be Kind To Yourself
One of the most important things we can do is be kind to ourselves when overcoming impostor syndrome.
It’s easy to get caught up in self-criticism, comparing ourselves negatively to others, or feeling like our successes aren’t enough. But if we want to truly overcome impostor syndrome and achieve our goals, then we have to start by being gentle with ourselves.
This is why it can be so important to question the critical inner voice that makes you feel inadequate or not enough.
By learning to recognize and quiet this voice you become empowered to fill that space with a true and deep belief in yourself and your capabilities.
Conclusion – How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Impostor syndrome can be a real challenge, but it doesn’t have to rule our lives. It takes time and effort to overcome this feeling of inadequacy, but there are strategies that can help us take back our power. By recognizing the differences between humility and impostor syndrome, challenging ourselves in realistic ways, talking to someone about our feelings of insecurity, and learning to use it to our advantage we can make great strides towards overcoming imposter syndrome.
No matter what level you’re at, each of us still experiences imposter syndrome at times. I’m still on my own journey of discovering how to best manage my imposter syndrome. With every step forward, every growth in my business, and every exciting new opportunity comes a new set of fears.
It’s not about feeling fearless or never having a wobble due to self-doubt.
True confidence is about knowing you’re good enough and worthy of unlimited success NOW, even with fear.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Tell The Difference Between Humility And Feeling Like An Imposter?
It can be hard to tell the difference between humility and feeling like an imposter, but there are key distinctions between the two. Humility is rooted in self-love and acceptance while impostor syndrome is based on feelings of inadequacy and insecurity.
Humility is not about being passive or meek; it’s about being grounded in one’s own capabilities. It allows us to recognize our potential, appreciate our successes, and learn from our mistakes without beating ourselves up for them.
On the other hand, impostor syndrome feeds into negative self-talk, causing us to doubt even our most basic achievements. We become convinced that we are undeserving of success, despite evidence to the contrary.
Being aware of these differences is the first step towards confronting your own imposter syndrome and reclaiming your confidence.
What Are Some Practical Tips To Make Use Of Impostor Syndrome?
The first step is to recognize when you’re feeling like an imposter. Once you’ve identified the feeling, you can look at what triggered it and begin exploring ways of reframing the situation. Remind yourself that everyone has moments of self-doubt and that feeling like an imposter doesn’t mean you’re incompetent – it simply means you have room for improvement.
The next step is to focus on building up your self-confidence by taking small steps toward achieving your goals. Celebrate your successes no matter how small they are, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help or feedback from others if needed. Finally, remember that imposter syndrome doesn’t define who you are – it’s just a part of life that will come and go over time with effort and dedication.
What Do I Do If I Feel Like I Can’t Talk To Anyone About My Impostor Syndrome?
Feeling like you can’t talk to anyone about your impostor syndrome is like being stuck in a box with no escape. It’s a powerful and overwhelming feeling.
To help overcome this feeling, there are a few steps you can take:
1. Recognize that impostor syndrome is common. Everyone has moments of self-doubt and insecurity, especially when faced with a challenging task. Acknowledge that what you’re feeling is normal and focus on the positive aspects of the situation.
2. Reach out to people who understand your feelings and experiences. Connecting with those who have similar struggles can provide comfort and reassurance that you’re not alone in this battle.
3. Make sure you address any underlying issues or trauma that may be causing your impostor syndrome. Talk to a coach with trauma expertise or a therapist if needed, as they may be able to provide helpful tools for dealing with these issues.
4. Take small steps towards overcoming your imposter syndrome by challenging yourself in manageable ways. Start by setting achievable goals for yourself, such as completing one task per day or taking on a new hobby.
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