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Embracing Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome

 

We’ve all been there – Imposter Syndrome – where we think we are not qualified to be in the position we’re in. It’s common for people, even professionals, to feel this, especially when they are dealing with challenges in their own lives. It’s important to remember, however, that life is challenging for everyone, and even more so for people who are growing and constantly challenging themselves to be better.

 

If you’re experiencing Imposter Syndrome here are some strategies to help you cultivate a more positive self-image and gain the confidence to go boldly and confidently into the world.

 

  • Acknowledge and Understand Imposter Syndrome

  • Use your Tools

  • Celebrate Successes

  • Set Realistic Expectations

  • Focus on Continuous Learning and Growth

  • Practice Self-Compassion

  • Develop a Strong Support Network

  • Be Authentic

  • Embrace Imposter Syndrome

 

Acknowledge and Understand Imposter Syndrome

 

The first step is to understand what Imposter Syndrome is. Signs include:

  • Feeling doubtful or inadequate despite the evidence that you are good at what you do.

  • Believing that your success is based on luck, timing, or some other external factor not under your control instead of believing it’s because of your hard work and dedication.

  • Fear that you’ll be exposed as a fraud even though you’re not.

  • Discounting praise from others on jobs well done rather than allowing it to fuel or motivate you.

 

Once you understand what Imposter Syndrome is, watch for it. Start identifying triggers that lead to Imposter Syndrome and keep a journal of them. Where are they coming from?

 

Use your Tools


After you’ve identified the trigger, use one of your many tools to coach yourself to a more realistic view of the situation. We already possess the tools to get through this! Regular self-reflection, mindfulness practices, mediation, positive affirmations, positive self-talk, reframing, action plans, etc., etc. Our ability to coach ourselves is limitless.  Some of my favorite tools are reframing and positive self-talk. Instead of thinking, “I don’t belong here” think “I’m so grateful to be here living my life purpose.” Or “All of my hard work is paying off.” Or “I’m having so much fun living my dream.” Imagine how you would encourage your best friend and use those techniques on yourself.

 

Keep your own thoughts in the right light - imagine how it would feel to be speaking and acting like the person you’re envisioning and then step into that role in your own head. You’re awesome, embrace it!

 

Celebrate Successes

 

This can’t be stated enough. Focus on your successes and reflect regularly on your progress. Remember the lives you’ve changed because you’ve shown up as yourself. Everyone has challenges, especially those at the top of their fields.  Tennis pros miss shots, Foot ballers miss goals, the best baseball players have struck out. It’s part of the process. They are great players, but they are playing in the Big Leagues and aren’t perfect. Build yourself up, much like you would for someone you love.

 

Writing down your successes and reviewing them weekly can help keep your Imposter Syndrome in check and keep you motivated to continue to grow and develop.

 

Set Realistic Expectations

  

Understand that success is subjective and should align with your own values and goals. Focus on your unique journey and resist comparing yourself to others. We all have our own path, and comparing yourself to people who are on a different one can lead you toward Imposter Syndrome, especially if you have a different style or are in a different stage of business. Keep your eyes on your own path. Set realistic goals for yourself and only compare your current self with your past self.

 

Each week or month sit down with your goals and celebrate the ones you’ve achieved and tweak or reframe the ones you didn’t quite hit so that you’re always making progress, whether it’s forward progress or growth.

 

Focus on Continuous Learning and Growth

 

Let’s face it, we are in an information age, and there’s plenty of it. How exciting! We can learn anything from anywhere with the resources available today. The web and social media are essentially a giant library. You can use it to learn meaningful, impactful things or use it for mindless meandering, it’s for you to decide.

 

Use your resources to continually update and upgrade your knowledge base and skills. There are books, videos, podcasts, workshops, mini-courses, community colleges and an endless array of higher learning centers in the US and other countries. Many of them offer virtually learning opportunities. The more you learn and the more skills you have the more confident you’ll feel about yourself.

 

In addition to education (formal or self-directed), it’s important to ask for constructive feedback from trusted clients and peers. Be sure to ask them for feedback on strengths as well as weaknesses. Use this constructive feedback as a way to hone your craft and create a better version of you as a person and a professional.

 

Practice Self-Compassion

 

Treat yourself with the same compassion you offer people you love and understand that mistakes are part of the package, part of learning and growth. It’s not the challenge itself, but how you handle it that matters. What would you say to a friend experiencing Imposter Syndrome? Use that advice for yourself.

 

Develop a Strong Support Network

  

A strong support network goes a long way. Get to know other people, other professionals who understand your journey. Reach out to them for ideas and support when needed.

 

Hire a Life Coach, someone who can provide guidance, support, and reassurance when needed, and who will help celebrate your victories. Your coach will help remind you of your awesomeness and reframe the Imposter Syndrome with you.

 

Hire a therapist when necessary to help you heal old wounds and maintain a healthy mindset if you are struggling. Sometimes unresolved trauma is a sneaky culprit behind Imposter Syndrome.

 

Be Authentic


Be Authentic! Be you. Being authentic builds trust with people, including yourself. It helps foster a positive self-image, one you’ll love and embrace. Share your journey with people - the highs and the lows. Both are important. The lows show vulnerability and help others relate to you. The highs motivate people to become better versions of themselves.

 

Embrace Imposter Syndrome


One final note, instead of fearing Imposter Syndrome, embrace it. Use it to make a better, stronger version of yourself. Use it to be the awesome Person you are! Imagine coming face-to-face with your imposter and befriending them, teaming up, tackling the world together. One of my favorite podcasters, Rich Litvin, encourages people to get good at imposter syndrome instead of avoiding it. When you’re feeling Imposter Syndrome it means you’re challenging yourself and showing up big in the world. You’re doing good stuff – keep doing it! Keep getting better at it. Team up with Imposter Syndrome and help it work for you.

 

Thanks for reading. Please share this with 3 people you know who may benefit from this information. It helps us grow and gets more positive information out into the world.

 

Have an awesome day and Infuse Your Future!

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