4 Ways to Knock Imposter Syndrome For Good
Now, I'll be straight up honest with you. I suffer from imposter syndrome like no one I know. It's pretty bad. But don't count me out! It's the prime reason why I'm the perfect person to help you through this. So lets begin, shall we?
What the hell is Imposter Syndrome*?
It's the belief or feelings of inadequacy a person might have despite their proved competence and/or noted success and accomplishments. They essentially feel like a fraud, always nervous that people will "find them out" or that they aren't worthy of having the success or position they have. Truly, it's exhausting and disrespectful to the money you've paid for all those degrees or certifications! ;)
So, how do you kick Imposter Syndrome out of your beautiful being forever? The answers aren't quite mind blowing. You just have to do the work!
4 Ways to Knock Imposter Syndrome For Good
1- Get a pep talk, then Listen.
If you're doing something you love or are good at, I'm sure the people around you can validate this. Ask a close friend or colleague, someone who believes in you but won't sugarcoat things, to name a few reasons as to why you're a boss ass betch at your craft. They'll be delighted to do so, but you better listen to them! Don't wave them off or assume they are being nice to gas you up. Most people who care about you will give you honest feedback, but you have to be ready to accept it. Self deprecation is now a thing of the past for you!
2- Become someone else.
Pretend you were in someone else's shoes for just an hour, and assume the new just-for-an-hour you is friends with Old You. Imagine that Hour You is talking to John Doe at the water cooler or at a weekend cookout, and he begins to rip into Old You. John Doe thinks Old You is crap and not that great at your job. He doesn't know how Old You got to where you are today. He's bewildered at your success. Does Hour You:
A- Agree with him, joining the "Rip into Old You" party, or
B- Take up for Old You, giving examples to prove why John Doe is wrong and why Old You is actually a boss ass, competent, amazing betch? (I'm really liking the word betch today. You're welcome.)
Nine times out of ten, you'll come to the rescue of Old You, because first of all, no one's gonna talk about you that way, but secondly, deep down you know your worth. It's just difficult to see what others see sometimes. Again, self deprecation is a thing of the past. Step into your greatness and accept it!
3- Prove yourself wrong.
Even though it's difficult to believe in your greatness, at your very core, you're at least aware of all of the hard work you've put in to reach the level you're at. You remember the countless hours you dedicated to learning about your craft, to improving your skills at your craft. You know the money and time you've put into gaining certifications or degrees. You know the determination and perseverance you've shown to fight through the hardships. You're actually amazing!
Write down your story, your trajectory of how you've arrived at the place you're at today. Include all of the little things you might have forgotten you did - like doing night school while you held a full time job while parenting your children or continuing to put in overtime hours while you were working toward that promotion. Write down a fluid resume, highlighting everything you've done and accomplished up to this point - no matter how small. This is important because everything, big and small, has gotten you to this place, right here, today. Don't sell yourself short.
Once you've written your story of glory, you'll be surprised at the path you've taken so far. Or maybe you won't. Maybe you're still on your way, but please don't discount the fact that you are in movement. You're trying! And that's what truly matters. Success doesn't happen overnight. It happens in the moments where you want to give up. Push past it. Keep going.
4- Recreate the conversation.
Whenever you start to feel like a fraud or an imposter, write down a couple of factual statements that will boost your confidence and prove you wrong. For me, I sometimes feel inadequate when it comes to my yoga practice. I discredit my knowledge because I feel that others know sooo much more than me. While this is definitely true, it shouldn't discount the knowledge I do have. Instead of assuming that other people's breadth of knowledge completely erases mine, I could say:
"I have a 200Hr yoga certification. I have a regular practice. I successfully lead yoga classes that my students enjoy and benefit from. Although I don't know everything, I currently know enough."
Then if the issue persists, I should look to increase my knowledge by taking more certifications, reading more books, or connecting with someone who has the knowledge I want. Mentorship is a really useful thing!
I hope these 4 ways to kick Imposter Syndrome to the curb will help you gain a new level of confidence and push you into your greatness. Like I said, the tips aren't groundbreaking, but the work might be. Make a commitment to do the work, and watch your journey progress.
If you've found this particularly helpful, please share it with someone else who might benefit from it. And connect with me! Let me know your experience with Imposter Syndrome. I'd love to hear different perspectives.
Cover Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash