How to overcome Impostor Syndrome
How to overcome Impostor Syndrome
Impostor Syndrome is something that people experience both in their personal and professional lives. Research shows that over 80% of us encounter impostor syndrome at last once in our lifetime! If you are feeling like an impostor, know that you are not alone.
Impostor Syndrome is defined as an intense feeling that our lack of talent/potential/appeal will be revealed at any moment. When experiencing impostor syndrome, we feel that those around us are more qualified and capable, even if they have a similar amount of experience and/or training. We feel that we somehow aren’t deserving of our success and accomplishments because it was a fluke, luck or being in the ‘right place at the right time’. It is an incredibly defeating and disempowering feeling!
You may be experiencing impostor syndrome if you have difficulty accepting any sort of praise or compliments, you feel that others in a similar position are somehow more qualified, you undermine your achievements by attributing them to luck, you are anxious anytime someone mentions a mistake you made or you are afraid to accept any new responsibility due to fear of failure.
The good news is that there are many mindset tools that can be used to overcome feelings of impostor syndrome! Working with a life coach is an extremely beneficial way to overcome impostor syndrome. A life coach will teach the person experiencing impostor syndrome how to take the steps to shift out of impostor syndrome toward a more positive and empowered mindset. Viewing yourself from a place of empowerment and confidence is integral for success in your chosen field, and in your personal life.
The first step in overcoming impostor syndrome is to notice when you are experiencing it. When we ‘pay attention on purpose’ (mindfulness!) to what circumstances/environments/events/people typically bring about feelings of impostor syndrome we can shift them. Is it mostly at work? Is it mostly at the gym? How about in a certain relationship? Do a quick scan to see what categories of your life impostor syndrome pops up most frequently in. When we become aware, we can shift these thoughts! Often these thoughts are stuck in our subconscious mind. What that feels like is: we know these thoughts are swirling around but they are cloudy and/or non-specific. When we bring awareness to these thoughts (such as noting which environments/ relationships, etc. bring them about) we can start to shift them!
Now that your thoughts are clearer, use these strategies to overcome impostor syndrome:
4 Strategies to overcome Impostor Syndrome:
- Acknowledge your growth. In what ways have your skills developed, your inner strength grown, your wisdom and knowledge evolved over the last year? How about the last 5 years? Your growth has been massive! Because you have been the one to experience it day in and day out, you don’t notice your own growth the way an outsider would! I guarantee you have grown, developed and evolved in ways that would blow little you away! Take some time to really acknowledge this! Write it out! Make a list, in black and white about all the ways you have grown and all the things you have learned in the last couple of years. This is remarkable. You are remarkable. We are so focused on all of our short-comings and mistakes that we rarely take time to acknowledge our own development! However, this is an integral piece of who we are! Acknowledging our strengths and growth is a very important component of our self image.
- Stop comparing. Their journey has nothing to do with yours. It is so tempting to want to evaluate your success relative to someone else’s. Resist this. It doesn’t not give you accurate or helpful information. We know less about other people than we think! We have no idea what they’re struggling with on or behind the scenes, where the gaps are in their knowledge, or what the future holds for them. Our brains want to fill the gaps- so we do. We love to assume things about people! We assume that our talented co-worker works half as hard as us, has a perfect life and is on a straight-shot to success. None of these things are fact-based! Maybe some of them are true, but trust that it has nothing- nothing at all- to do with you. Like nature, we all have our seasons. We have our growing seasons, our shedding seasons, our flourishing seasons and our seasons of desparity. Like nature, no season lasts for ever. Trust the season you’re in. It doesn’t matter about anyone else.
- Expect and accept mistakes. You don’t have to be perfect to be successful. Read that again! You will make mistakes along the way. It doesn’t make you unqualified, incapable or unable to achieve all that you want in life! Can you take the lesson from the mistake and nothing more? Our egos and inner critics often want to make more of it that it really is. “Oh you got a low mark on that exam? You will NEVER be a manager”. Nope… you just got a low mark. It doesn’t actually mean anything more than that. Aim to take the information from the mistake, nothing more and nothing less. And remember, everyone (every single person!) makes mistakes along the way. We need to make mistakes to experience growth. Read more about this topic!
- Strengthen your Inner Coach. We all have an Inner Critic and and Inner Coach. For most of us, dare I say all of us, our inner critic is so much louder than our inner coach. Just because that voice is the loudest, doesn’t mean it’s the truest! Read that again. Strengthen your inner coach by reviewing your successes, asking mentors how you’re doing, accepting compliments (a huge challenge for many) and even keeping a document of compliments received. Every person has strong attributes and accomplishments; it’s time to start owning this part of you! If the inner critic says “you’ll never do better” the inner coach might say “you’re growing! You needed to have that experience. You are on the right track and there are lots of people who are willing to help you get there!” Next time you hear the inner critic, remind yourself that it’s just a thought, not a fact. Ask your inner coach for their perspective on the situation! Read these Top 5 Tips to Build Confidence!
Working with a life coach is an excellent want to build up your inner coach. Working with a life coach is a great way to build the inner resources needed to believe in yourself and combat impostor syndrome. Impostor Syndrome can really hold you back from playing bigger in your life and career. It is important to take the steps necessary to get the help you need to shed these limiting beliefs.
Book a complimentary Discovery Call with Next Up Life Coach Alexandra Herzog to talk about how life coaching can help you combat impostor syndrome and get closer to your personal and professional goals!
It’s time to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be!