I recently wrote a blog all about Imposter Syndrome and shared ten tell-tale signs you have it. The obvious question then becomes, how the heck do I overcome it?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
Here are some proven and practical ways to ditch Imposter Syndrome, take back the control to empower yourself and say goodbye to the Inner Imposter.
- Take responsibility. The first thing is recognising the signs of Imposter Syndrome within yourself and having the desire to take responsibility for changing how you feel. You are your own responsibility and, harsh as it may sound, only you can control yourself. Other people can help you, for sure, but the ultimate change maker is YOU. If you’re ready to say enough is enough and take charge over your Imposter, then read on!
2. Build your self-awareness. Notice your thoughts and feelings – become more conscious of what’s going on inside of you. Know that thoughts and feelings are not facts, so if they don’t serve you, change them. The choice is yours. You can reframe any negative thought you say to yourself, or choose to ignore or dismiss it. Make a commitment to yourself to switch the critical, disempowering narrative to a kinder, supportive, appreciative one. At a bare minimum, you’ll feel better than you do right now!
And feelings are just feelings – they’ll pass, they don’t actually stop you doing anything unless you choose to let them. Nobody ever died from a dose of nervousness or worry! And don’t forget that anxiety and nervousness are the exact same physiological state as being excited – so perhaps try renaming your experience to one that feels better and then take action towards the thing you’ve been putting off.
3. Notice the disempowering untruths you attribute to your successes to date, like ‘I got lucky …’, ‘It wasn’t down to me, others did most of the work.’ ‘I had a lot of support to get here.’ ‘Anyone could do what I do, it’s nothing difficult.’ Own your successes. List them out. See what you’ve achieved. Notice your qualities and character. Allow yourself to feel good about them all. YOU got yourself to this point in time, not anyone else. You made the decisions, put in the work, overcame, found courage, kept going. YOU!
4. Watch out for comparisonitis! Next time you catch yourself comparing yourself, feeling in awe or inadequate in another person’s presence, notice the qualities in them that you’re wishing you could be more like – realize that’s what you’re being called to work on. Remember however to see this work as an expansion of yourself, rather than using it as another stick to beat yourself up and not feel good enough. Then take a leap of faith – try out that thing, act now. Ditch the overthinking and JFDI.
5. Recognise and accept that perfectionism doesn’t exist, so don’t even try for it. Take the pressure off yourself to be perfect. And if thoughts like ‘I can’t let my standards slip’ or ‘What will others think of my sloppiness?’, or some other such limiting belief come to mind, go back to tip No.2. If striving for perfection is causing you stress, a weight of responsibility and isn’t serving you, then, my friend, it’s time to change. Trust me, as a recovered perfectionist, I’m still immensely proud of my standards, but I’m equally appreciative of the help and support I now ask for and how much calmer and content I feel.
6. See every opportunity as a way to learn and grow. As I said in my last blog about Imposter Syndrome, it exists because of fear. And when we fear failure, or embarrassment or disappointment or whatever, we hold ourselves back. But I believe there’s no such thing as failure, only lessons, and they’re all a natural part of life. So what if you tried that thing … if you tried to speak up more in meetings, if you started to say No to things you didn’t want to do, if you asked for help and support … what incredible growth, opportunities, learnings, new beliefs in yourself might arise? If you don’t try you’ll never know!
All these tips to overcome Imposter Syndrome are what I have used and continue to use to help me believe in myself. I still wobble with self-doubt on occasion, for sure, but I know these practices work and make my life feel so much calmer, content, happier and empowering. I only ever share advice that I know works for me and my coaching clients, so what have you got to lose? Ahh … you might just ditch that Imposter once and for all!
P.s. Of course I’d be delighted to support you to overcome Imposter Syndrome and feel empowered from within … if you want to know more, book in a in a free Discovery Call and we can chat more.