If you have ever struggled with imposter syndrome, then you understand how debilitating and even frightening it can be. Imposter syndrome is the general fear that you are going to be “found out” as a fraud in some way. The “what ifs” that this thought process create can cause serious self-doubt and anxiety:
- What if they find out I’m not really qualified for this job?
- What if I fail and everyone judges me?
- What if I can’t do it?
- What if…what if…what if?
According to Psychology Today, research suggests “around 25 to 30 percent of high achievers may suffer from imposter syndrome. And around 70 percent of adults may experience impostorism at least once in their lifetime.”
That’s a lot!
So how do you address this? Here are 10 tips to ditch imposter syndrome for good:
- Focus on the good stuff. For whatever reason, your brain tends to believe the bad before the good. To combat this, focus on all the successes you have had, how you got there, and how you can repeat that process. Focusing on the good can help shift your mindset and remind you that you truly deserve all the results you are seeing.
- Get smarter. Sometimes imposter syndrome is the result of worrying about all the things you don’t know, rather than what you do. If you find yourself constantly obsessing over a particular educational shortcoming, maybe it’s time to fill in those gaps. Education is always a good idea!
- Check your ego. Is your ego actually what’s causing your imposter syndrome? No one is expecting you to do everything right all the time! No one is judging you as harshly as you might think. Get out of your head and out of your own way!
- Let go of comparison. It’s okay to check out the “competition” (and I put that in quotes because I don’t really see competition as a negative thing). The problem that arises is when you fall into constantly comparing yourself to others and basing your own worth on that comparison. We are all different people with different skills and that’s the way it should be! If you feel you are constantly comparing yourself with others, it might be time to take a break from social media and just be you for a while.
- Fake it. No one has it all together all the time and that’s ok, too! If you don’t have everything figured out, then rest assured that no one else does, either.
- Uplift others. When I feel especially low, I focus on lifting others up. Text your friend a funny story, buy a stranger a coffee, or donate to a charitable event. Small acts like these will help get you out of your negative spiral and remind you of all the good in the world.
- Forgive yourself. So much of imposter syndrome is perfectionism and neurosis run amok! It’s ok to be just a great version of yourself, not a perfect version.
- Narrow down the negatives. Can you focus on what, exactly, is causing you to fall into imposter syndrome? Once you identify your trigger, you can flip your mindset on the subject. Worried you won’t fit in because you’re “too old?” Maybe turn that around and think of all the experience you can impart to those around you! Concerned you don’t have enough real-world experience? That’s ok, you are bringing fresh eyes to the situation.
- Seek out your executive team. If you follow me on social media, you’ll hear me talk a lot about finding your “Executive Team.” What I mean by this is to seek out like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners who can share and commiserate on what you are feeling. Running a business isn’t easy and some of that imposter syndrome can be alleviated by talking to someone who has been there, too.
- Manage your mindset. Mindset is SO important in business and in life. It’s literally everything. No matter how well you are doing, if your mind isn’t right, you’ll never see it and never enjoy it. Develop your mindset by reading books, listening to motivational speakers, surrounding yourself with the right people, and focusing on growth over scarcity. And if all else fails, start with something as simple as writing out a list of everything you’re grateful for and everything you’ve accomplished so far. It’s a small shift, but sometimes the best, life-altering changes come slowly.
You got this!
Want more insights on imposter syndrome? I wrote a whole chapter on it in The Pursuit of Badasserie: How to Create Badass Business Abundance. Or, you can hear me talk about it with my co-author and co-host, Lynn Howard in our new podcast! Check it out!
Can you tell I love to talk about this topic?