How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever experience a serious doubt about your talent and skills? This is known as imposter syndrome and it’s actually really common. It can hold you back and stop you from reaching your full potential. Most of the time, it’s not a true reflection of what you can do and has more to do with how you see yourself. Taking steps to overcome this critical form of thinking is an extremely underrated self-love tool. Here are some tips for beating imposter syndrome for good.

Signs of Imposter Syndrome

If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, you’ll likely experience some of these signs:

  • Constantly find ways to criticise yourself
  • Question whether you really have the skills, ability or talent to succeed in your career
  • Always expecting people in your field to call you out as a fraud who isn’t good enough
  • Feel inferior to other people, especially ones that you feel are more successful than you
  • Feel stressed and anxious when you’re not busy
  • Push yourself to do more and work harder to try to prove that you’re enough
  • Feel a sense of shame or guilt if you feel that you’ve failed on a challenge
  • You shy away from asking for help because you feel that it should all be down to you
  • You feel as though you still don’t know “enough”, even though you’re experienced stretches years
  • Assume that everything you’ve achieved to date has been down to luck or circumstances

What causes imposter syndrome?

Sometimes, the problem is linked to what you expect from yourself. It’s common to have really high standards that you’ve set for yourself. And if you don’t meet that level of expectation, you immediately go into self-criticism mode. The end result? You doubt yourself like crazy and assume that you’re not good enough.

Even if high expectations aren’t the culprit, your thought processes are heavily involved. With imposter syndrome, you struggle to value your worth. Often, you’ll compare yourself unfavorably to other people. The common denominator here? You’re not confident enough in yourself and your skills.

How to beat imposter syndrome for good

So, what can you do to say goodbye to imposter syndrome forever? The solution involves reframing your thought patterns.

Stop negative thoughts in their tracks

When you catch yourself in self-criticism mode, bring out the positive affirmations. This teaches your brain that you’re not an imposter. Thanks to neuroplasticity, you can rewire your brain through a positive mindset and over time are less likely to have these unhelpful thoughts pop up in the first instance.

Recognize that perfect isn’t possible

If you’re a perfectionist, it can be hard to feel any pride or satisfaction even if you achieve your goal. Chances are, you probably feel as though you could have done something better. Take a step back and recognise that you don’t have to be perfect and your best is probably more than good enough. And if you mess up, don’t beat yourself up about it. Everyone makes mistakes; look at them as something to learn from instead!

See yourself a work in progress

Having imposter syndrome can mean that you’re never happy with your skills and knowledge. This can leave you feeling that you’re not smart enough or skilled enough to keep up with the competition. Turn this thinking around and see yourself as being in transition. If there are any genuine gaps in your skills, you can address these. Most of the time, it’s a confidence crisis.

Accept praise and compliments

Next time you receive some praise for your work, don’t brush it off or dismiss it. Accept it and believe it. It can be super helpful to save compliments to look at in the future. Writing them down makes them more powerful. You can use the compliments you’ve received in the past to remind yourself of what you can do. Look at this compliments file when imposter syndrome strikes!

Don’t rely on external validation

Are you constantly seeking validation from others to prove that you’re good enough? This is very common with imposter syndrome and it can fuel the self-doubt if this isn’t regularly dished out. Looking within yourself for validation can be much more powerful. Any validation you get from other people will just serve to reinforce your own beliefs.

Ask for help if you need it

There’s absolutely no shame in getting support when you need it. Quite the opposite, it is brave to put your hand up when required. Teaming up with someone else can give you a fresh perspective. It can often help them too.

The truth is we can all doubt ourselves at times and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We can use those pangs of self-doubt to motivate ourselves to be better, try harder. The key is to change your way of thinking. Instead of looking at what you don’t know yet or haven’t achieved so far, look at what you have done. Practice gratitude to celebrate the successes you’ve had and the accomplishments you have achieved to date. Know that life is a journey, and we should all aim to continually learn and grow. There will probably be no point where you know everything, so celebrate yourself as a work in progress.