5 Ways to Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Impostor syndrome is described as “feeling like a fraud” or “doubting your abilities”. It’s something many high achieving individuals are familiar with, feeling like they’ve achieved everything in their life from luck and no skill.
A lot of people feel like impostors, and that often leads them to think they are alone. Many people struggle with this feeling, so in the spirit of helping I decide to write a post that shows some of the ways we can overcome impostor syndrome. It’s my hope that by the time you finish reading this post you’ll have the tools to overcome feelings of being an impostor.
The first thing you need to do is:
Make a list of your achievements
It’s easy to forget what you’ve achieved in your life when everything in the world is constantly moving. We rarely have time to pause and reflect on what we have accomplished.
This is why I suggest making a list of every one of your achievements.This list can include everything you have achieved in your career and even quotes with all the nice things people have said about you. It doesn’t matter how small the win was, it can even be something as small as not skipping the gym for a week or learning new words from a language. It’s important to do this consistently to help overcome negative feelings.
When someone has impostor syndrome they believe they’re not good enough and that they don’t deserve what they have achieved. Keeping a list of these achievements will help on days when you’re lacking motivation. It will be a reminder that “you’re not an impostor” and that everything you have done to get where you are in life is because of your own skill and determination.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
We all have those days, when things just aren’t working out; when a client was rude or a co-worker treated us poorly. These little negatives can start to add up until we start to feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated.
Instead of waiting for others to tell us words of encouragement, we should take the initiative and do it ourselves. That little voice of doubt at the back of our minds is always threatening to discourage people who feel like impostors. The key is to build an inner voice that continues to challenge the doubt.
The first step to building this forward-thinking mindset is to reflect on the list of achievements I mentioned before. The second step is to compliment yourself on a job well done. Continue to build your inner voice until it becomes a habit, you’ll notice how much smaller that voice of doubt starts to get. Instead of looking at situations and thinking “I can’t do this” you will approach situations with a balance of wisdom and confidence, instead saying. “This will be a challenge, but I can do it”.
Learn From Your Mistakes
When you make a mistake (because we all do, and it’s human) try looking back at why the mistake happened. Sometimes we are responsible for our own failings, and that’s okay. The important thing is recognizing where we messed up and seeing whether we can improve in that area.
When we continue to look at our own individual contributions, we start to notice what we can and can’t do. There’s power in that knowledge.
When we begin to notice our own mistakes, we work towards making sure they never happen again. And in doing so, we begin to get better and better at what we do.
Feeling like an impostor usually comes from thinking about our past failures, and feeling like those failures are going to catch up with us. Once we learn from these mistakes they become a source of strength and not something that weighs us down or brings us shame.
Surround yourself with Supportive people
It’s as the sub-heading says. Supportive people encourage us and want the best for us. They give us constructive feed-back and don’t undermine us. Surround yourself with these people; it goes a long way in keeping good energy around you and keeping the voice of doubt away.
When a job is finished, don’t forget to reward yourself. You can go out on a solo date at your favourite restaurant or have a party with your friends. Be kind to yourself; you deserve it.
It will also give you time to recharge, which is important when you want to continue doing amazing work. Pause, reflect, take a deep breath then take the next step. The only person you should be competing with is yourself, to do better. There is no-one better at being you than you.
Bonus: Remember you’re not alone
Many people won’t admit it, but they feel like impostors too. Take comfort in knowing you’re not the only one who may feel this from time to time; it’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of. The important thing is to work on it and not let it defeat you.
Many ladies give up after feeling like they’ve bitten more than they can chew. I’m here to remind them that they can take another bite 🙂