“It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not.” — Denis Waitley
Every now and then we all experience moments of doubt, but if your self-doubt is standing in the way of your ability to take action, you might be wrestling with imposter syndrome.
Impostor Syndrome is a persistent disbelief that one's success is not deserved or isn’t a result of one's own efforts or skills.
Imposter syndrome can creep up as thoughts that you’ve only succeeded due to luck, or an unshakable lack of confidence in your talent or qualifications. If you find yourself struggling don’t worry, you’re not alone. From seasoned veterans to fledgling career-starters, imposter syndrome can challenge you at any point in your career or personal life
If you can relate, then keep reading for our favorite strategies for overcoming imposter syndrome and standing true in your self-identity.
Reframe your thoughts - Jot down the limiting the beliefs you have with respect to the areas you feel most insecure. Respond to those concerns by creating empowering counter statements to combat any limiting beliefs.
- Example: Replace “I am bad at…XYZ” with “XYZ is a skill, I have learned new skills before and I am confident I can do it again.”
Develop a new response to failure - Instead of beating yourself up for making a mistake, acknowledge what you could have done better and move on. Start another project, take the next best step, or try again. Whatever you do, don’t ruminate, keep going.
Share - Share what you’re feeling with someone you trust. Reach out to a friend or mentor. Talking to someone else can help normalize your feelings and approach your thoughts more in a more objective manner.
Affirmations - Choose a statement that affirms your ability to accomplish your goal. Repeat it daily. Use positive statements instead of negative statements.
- Example: Instead of saying I am not bad at networking” try saying “I am a natural-born extrovert, forming new friendships comes easy to me.”
Quote / Mantra - Repeat a quote or mantra that holds special importance in your life. Choose something that resonates with you and is fairly simple to repeat. Whenever emotions of fear or doubt overwhelm you, repeat your mantra/quote until these feelings dissipate. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Write it Out - Write a journal entry from the perspective of your future self once you have achieved your goals. What do you see? How do you feel? Who is there with you? What do you smell? Be as vivid as possible. Read this entry regularly for motivation and inspiration. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Visualization - Take a moment to visualize yourself achieving your goal. Schedule a time to do so regularly. This will help it feel more natural when such achievements come to fruition and lessen the burden of imposter syndrome.
Take Action - The best cure to doubt and insecurity is action. Don’t expect to be able to call yourself a runner by sitting on the couch all day. If you want to view yourself as someone that is competent and talented, it’s important to do the work to become more knowledgeable. Take the time to sharpen your skillset, attend a conference or beef up your resume.
Anytime you feel a case of imposter syndrome coming on, remember fear is not always a stop sign; fear can also serve as a signal to take proceed ahead. Whenever you feel afraid, instead of avoiding the problem try taking immediate action in that area. Following these simple strategies can help train your brain to convert imposter syndrome into confidence the next time around.