Impostor syndrome, according to Very Well Mind, is “an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context.” In other words, it is feeling like you are posing as someone who is better than you think you are. Many experience impostor syndrome at some point throughout their career, and the feeling can be overwhelming and draining.
“Self-doubt or imposter syndrome makes us feel like a fraud because we know our own flaws, but we are unaware of everyone else’s. We can hear our own negative self-talk but we cannot hear the voice inside other people’s heads,” said Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas, a confidence expert. “Research shows that 70% of our thoughts are negative. We would not have any friends if we talk to them the same way we talk to ourselves. The key is to change our inner language which is the foundation for confidence.”
The good news is that there are ways to combat impostor syndrome. If you are experiencing the feeling of not being good enough, check our tips to change your mindset!
Take some of the Pressure off Yourself
Many of us tend to be overachievers. We want to be the best, do the best, and make a lasting impression on our colleagues and clients. Although it is great to aim high and set goals for yourself, remember that you don’t always have to be the best. Every one of your colleagues has their own unique strengths and weaknesses. What you may be amazing at, another might really struggle at, and vice versa. You do not have to try to be excellent at everything. Take off the pressure of feeling like you need to impress all the time. Chances are people already know how great you are without you having to constantly show them, so just do your thing!
Say Daily Affirmations
Affirmations are a great way to remind yourself of your potential and set yourself up for success. When we let negative thoughts creep in, we create a negative mindset, which heavily contributes to Impostor Syndrome. Starting your day each morning by looking in the mirror and saying positive messages aloud to yourself will put you in a more confident mood.
Some beneficial and common affirmations you can try out are: “I am confident”; “I am doing better each day”; “I am allowing myself to grow”; “I am worthy of success”; and, “I am more than good enough.”
Positive affirmations can not only help you tackle Impostor Syndrome, but have also been shown to “decrease health-deteriorating stress, increase the amount of exercise people do, help you to eat more fruit and vegetables and achieve more academically,” Third Space said.
Be OK with Failing
It is inevitable that we are going to fail at one point or another. Instead of beating yourself up for failing, allow yourself to acknowledge it and learn from it. Change that failure into a positive experience that will help you grow.
Part of Impostor Syndrome is expecting you are inevitably going to fail because you don’t feel as competent as others think you are. Remind yourself that this is not true; you are going to have far more successes than failures. However, when the times come that you do fail, be OK with it – because it is OK!
Shift your Attention onto your Clients and Work
Some of us have careers centered around helping people. Sometimes, we forget that we are making a difference in people’s lives and no amount of self-doubt can change that.
AmyLee Westervelt, a dream design coach and mindset expert, says, “What I have learned is that when I am in doubt, it means I am making it about me instead of my clients. It means I have shifted my attention toward my own pride and ego instead of the service I have agreed to provide. When I shift to helping, I am not worried about whether it’s good enough because the purpose is to create change for someone else.”
Stop trying to be Perfect
Striving to be perfect is just setting yourself up for failure. “We can be so tough on ourselves, wanting to be perfect.’ Perfect is boring. Perfect is a lie. And perfect did not get you that job. Being exactly who you are as you are got you that job. We may stumble along the way, but getting mindful, becoming the observer of these thoughts (without becoming the thoughts themselves), and operating from a space of self-love, that’s where we start to shine,” says Lisann Valentin, a professional storyteller and shamanic amplifier.
Listen to your Peers
If those around you think you are capable, chances are, you are capable! Your clients and customers are the ones observing your actions and they notice how hard you work. They have no reason to lie to you – if they tell you you’re doing great, listen to them! Accept the compliment, say thank you and give yourself a pat on the back.
Tackling Impostor Syndrome is challenging. It can be so easy to let little negative thoughts of incompetency squeeze their way into your mind, affecting your work and personal life. However, with these tips, the feeling of being enough should return and you can say goodbye to Impostor Syndrome. It’s not welcome here!