Do you feel like you’re just not good enough to receive praise from other people? Is it hard for you to admit that you actually know what you’re doing even though you have all the qualifications? Does getting a compliment from other people make you seriously uncomfortable?
If you said “yes” to any of these questions, then you, my friend, might be suffering from the all-too-common impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome can be a horrible feeling.
We question our abilities and wonder how in God’s name did we get this far. Accepting praise for our accomplishments is awkward, to say the least. And we just end up feeling like total frauds.
Regardless of how you feel right now, I’m here to tell that you can conquer impostor syndrome! At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt like impostors.
The good news is that we don’t have to keep suffering in silence. In this post, I’m explaining how to finally conquer impostor syndrome and accept that you truly are amazing
“It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you keep telling yourself that you’re not.” Anonymous
This Is How You Conquer Impostor Syndrome
THE TRUTH ABOUT SELF-DOUBT AND IMPOSTOR SYNDROME
Impostor syndrome is a term used to describe the feeling of deep insecurity, self-doubt and low self-confidence that we experience in spite of how accomplished we may be in reality.
It makes us feel like we don’t deserve the degrees we have, the promotions we earned or any award we’ve been given.
As I’ve stated in my previous post, fear and self-doubt are feelings experienced by everyone. Most of the times these feelings develop at a young age due to an event that had a negative impact on us.
Impostor syndrome does not discriminate and some of the most successful people have dealt with this.
Albert Einstein, Mark Zuckerberg and Maya Angelou (just to name a few) have all spoken openly about their struggles with feeling like frauds and impostors.
In fact, Maya Angelou was quoted as once saying, “I have written over 11 books and each time I think to myself, “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find out.”
No matter how isolated you might feel right now, rest assured that you are not alone. We all experience self-doubt and the tips I’ll talk about will help you conquer it once and for all.
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. Click To Tweet
HOW DOES IMPOSTOR SYNDROME IMPACT YOUR SUCCESS?
As someone who suffers from impostor syndrome you often find yourself in an impossible cycle. You believe every task must be done to perfection and will work relentlessly to get there; oftentimes alone.
This refusal to ask for help further feeds your feeling like a fraud because you believe “I should know this,”.
You also feel like someone else will expose you for not knowing everything there is to know about a given subject. This can put undue stress on an individual and result in premature burnout.
Feeling like an impostor can also lead to severe procrastination. You consistently put off projects and tasks because you believe that if it can’t be done perfectly then it shouldn’t be done at all.
Having this mindset can and will lead to a severe decrease in productivity.
You’ll end up missing amazing opportunities/experiences because you don’t deem yourself worthy/capable. Not to mention the impact this impostor syndrome might have on your relationship because you spend long hours trying to prove yourself professionally.
WHAT ARE SIGNS I MIGHT BE SUFFERING FROM IMPOSTOR SYNDROME?
If you’ve suffered from impostor syndrome then you may have experienced one or a combination of the following:
- It is difficult for you to accept praise from others,
- You always strive for perfection,
- You do whatever it takes to always be the best,
- You have a paralyzing fear of failure (and this may keep you up at nights),
- It is hard for you to stop comparing your life to that of other people’s, and
- Deep down you are convinced that you simply aren’t enough.
HOW CAN I FIGHT AND OVERCOME IMPOSTOR SYNDROME?
Experiencing any or all of the above can be really difficult to handle, but that can be a good thing.
It means that you can now take the action necessary to overcome impostor syndrome and finally see yourself as you really are.
1 RECOGNIZE IT FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS
The first step in finally overcoming the feeling you have of being a fake is to recognize it for what it is.
You might have been having this strange feeling for months or even years but couldn’t figure out what it was. So you dismiss it as just another symptom of your already declining self-esteem.
Or worse, you completely ignore it; never acknowledging the fact that it’s there. Like any disease, if ignored, the symptoms of impostor syndrome will grow and grow until they consume you.
Recognize and accept that you are experiencing these feelings so you can deal with them. When you put a name to the feelings you have, you also start to realize that just because you feel a certain way, doesn’t make it your reality.
Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. Click To Tweet
2 BE OPEN ABOUT IT
I’m still in the beginning stages of my blogging life and my coaching business. One thing I’ve realized is that impostor syndrome is a common experience.
The main reason so many of us suffer (or have suffered) is because we don’t open up about it. Whether it’s a fear of judgement or fear of exposure, we don’t talk about what’s going on with us.
Being open about your self-doubt and fears of inadequacy will help you to get past them. You realize that you’re not alone.
We’re all terrified and each of us needs help sometimes. It’s okay to share our fears because acting in spite of our fears makes us confident and connects us as humans.
3 FOCUS ON PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION
One of the main reasons so many of us feel like frauds is because we focus on perfection.
Everything we do needs to be perfect.
Due to this incessant need, we can never start that dream business until we have every degree. We can’t chase that big promotion until we’ve worked for X number of years.
The longer we wait and the more we chase perfection, the less of a likelihood we’ll go for it.
A simple quote from Marie TV that says “Focus on progress over perfection”, keeps me going every day. It enables me to put myself out there even when I don’t feel ready.
I’m also able to land the projects I want to even though I haven’t been at this for decades.
Forget being perfect all the time and focus on the amazing progress you’ve made. If we keep on chasing this idea of perfection, we will never be ready.
Learn to bet on yourself and have confidence in your decisions. No one knows your business better than you. Click To Tweet
4 PRACTICE ACCEPTING PRAISE AND COMPLIMENTS
Accepting praise or compliments is probably the most difficult step I’ve taken to conquer impostor syndrome. How weird is it to hear people tell you that you’re awesome when you can’t see it?
And how awkward is it accepting awards when you feel like a failure?
It took me standing in front of the mirror practising (a lot!) to finally get comfortable. Pretending to accept Oscars and Grammies in my room has prepared me to accept praise in my real life.
Impostor syndrome can cripple you and severely damage your self-esteem because you repel anything good that comes your way. The more you practice accepting compliments, and smiling when people say nice things, the more you realize that you are worthy of good things.
You’re worthy of those “thank yous” because you did a great job and you changed lives for the better.
5 FOCUS ON YOURSELF AND IGNORE COMPARISONS
The biggest lie society has shoved down our throats is the idea that we need to compare.
We have a good job but Timothy over there has a better one. Or look how much money Delilah makes doing nothing all day while I slave away and make less than minimum wage.
Comparison is everywhere and everyone else always appears to be doing better than us.
So what does that do to our self-worth?
It makes us believe that we are less than “them” or nothing at all. We also feel like impostors because we claim to be coaches, doctors and lawyers yet don’t own a huge house or fancy car.
To rid ourselves of these feelings we need to focus on ourselves. Try to keep your eyes on your own journey and learn this vital lesson – comparing your chapter 5 to someone else’s chapter 95 does you no good.
Besides, have you ever heard of an “overnight success” that was actually years in the making?
BONUS – ADOPT A GROWTH MINDSET
As human beings, we tend to have, to varying degrees, a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset means that you believe that no matter how hard you try you will never be any better than you are right now.
Adopting a growth mindset, however, allows you to learn and mature daily because you know there is always room for growth.
The secret to conquering impostor syndrome is accepting that you might not be an expert now and that’s okay. You know this and understand that you grow and get better with time.
It just takes practice and continuous learning. This is one thing I’ve internalized as a coach. I am continuously on the search for new ways to grow so that I can consistently provide value for my clients.
You don't need to attain perfection or mastery to be worthy of the success you've achieved. Click To Tweet
DO YOU FEEL LIKE A FRAUD?
Feeling like a fraud comes up when we start a new business, change careers or even when we’re up for promotions. Though this might be our brain’s first response, it doesn’t have to be that way at all.
I’ve woken up so many mornings thinking “I can’t do this! I’m so fake”, but then I remember who I really am.
I remember everything I’ve experienced, everything I’ve been and who God wants me to be. The biggest mistake we could ever make is undervaluing who we are and overvaluing what we’re not.
Have you ever felt like a fraud?
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