Updated: Apr 29, 2019
What is imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is the inability to attribute one's own successes to his or her own efforts or skills. He or she maintains a fear that they will be exposed as a "fraud".
So how do we overcome it?
1. TALK ABOUT IT! The biggest challenge that comes up is that we assume that no one else feels the grip of imposter syndrome and because we are the "only" one's who feel it, it must be true. It is our responsibility to stop making it a secret that we all share and start talking about it. There is actually a name for this, it is called "pluralistic ignorance", in which we each doubt our abilities and we think we are alone in it because no one voices it. Because we can't truly evaluate how hard our peers work, or how much they tend to doubt themselves or their abilities, or we assume that the things that are tough for us are not tough for them, we don't know how to feel validated in our own struggle. We assume that it shouldn't be this hard, but we really have no idea how hard it was for someone else or how long it took them.
2. Stay in Your Lane: We have all heard this one before. It is so important to ground yourself in your strengths and your "why". Start each day by reminding yourself of your greatness, find those words of affirmation that hit home for you and let them guide you. If you catch yourself looking at or comparing your path to someone else's, take a step back and reset yourself. Do not let yourself go down the rabbit hole of comparison and self-doubt.
3. Create a Cheerleading Folder: Don't save this task for when you are already feeling the grip of imposter syndrome, go home and make this folder tonight while you are feeling inspired and lit up! This folder is where you will keep amazing testimonials about the work you have done, feedback from family, friends, peers, and clients about what you have accomplished, how you have made those people feel, etc. When imposter syndrome starts to creep in refer back to this folder and allow yourself to focus on how many amazing things you have done, and will have the opportunity to continue to do as long as you trust yourself and your role.
4. Address your limiting beliefs: When the feelings of imposter syndrome start to creep in, take some time to observe them. Ask yourself where they are stemming from. Are they a result of a limiting belief that has been placed upon you? A majority of the time, when imposter syndrome strikes, the root is based on a limiting belief that we may not be fully aware of.
5. Understand it for what it is: Imposter syndrome is essentially the fear of rejection. We are scared we will fail or that we will be outed as a "fraud". Why? Because we are pushing past where we are comfortable. We are taking on new and exciting challenges, and these challenges cause us to question ourselves. We want to provide the best of the best for our clients, friends, family, etc. and that desire to perform causes us to question if we will actually deliver on what we "claim" we will.
*Photo by Patrick Wee