Believe me when I say I know how shit imposter syndrome can be. I’m well aware just how much it once held me back and stopped me from seeing my accomplishments. I know I’m not alone, which is why I’ve dedicated a large portion of my time in recent years to understand it.
Thankfully, I’ve mostly overcome my imposter syndrome but for those days when the voice does creep back in, I have a toolkit and support system for dealing with it.
In this article. I want to take you through controlling your own imposter syndrome as well as give you some tools for telling the imposter NO when it stops you from living and working at your full potential.
Imposter syndrome doesn’t just impact business people. It’s that little voice that tells you that you’re not good enough, not experienced enough, or tells you that you might fail.
That voice is not there for a reason.
Humans naturally want to take the easiest route through life and our brains are very good at protecting us from anything that might damage us emotionally or physically.
This is why we fear failure. This is why we shy away from the unknown. This is why we avoid anything that seems too difficult.
For a lot of people, this manifests itself as imposter syndrome and we constantly feel we’re not good enough. That’s just your brain protecting you from a scary failure situation.
For many people, it comes from pressure placed on us during our formative years. Perhaps you grew up with perfectionist parents or an overachieving sibling. Maybe you were landed with a terrible boss in your first job who made you feel like you weren’t good enough. Maybe your teachers always expected more and more from you.
Whatever the reason for you feeling like this, you’ll be pleased to know that you can get past it and that you are good enough.
Challenge your beliefs
This isn’t always easy and can be an uncomfortable process. In a moment of not feeling good enough, explore why. If you can uncover why you feel a certain way you can take steps to start challenging those beliefs you hold about yourself.
Think about whether those beliefs help or hinder you and try to determine if there have ever been situations where that belief isn’t true for you. Think about what others would say too, do they believe it’s true?
Talk about it
Talking about any situation where you feel less than isn’t a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. By talking about your situation, you’ll start to build a support network of people who can help you start to challenge what you believe.
Document your successes
It’s important that you start to create a toolkit that helps you challenge any limiting beliefs. It’s not egotistical or big headed to celebrate when you do something well and you’ll become more comfortable with this, the more you do it.
I tend to save screenshots of my Amazon reviews and any messages where someone has thanked me for coaching or some of my content. These reminders that I’m doing good work that helps people is more than enough to keep me going on those days where I feel down.
You might create diary entries of praise or good feedback at work. You might do as I do and screenshot reviews and testimonials, or you might create written records or a scrapbook of times you’ve achieved something in your personal life or at work.
If you need to, enlist the help of family and friends as they’ll be able to help you identify these successes.
Find a champion
One of the turning points for me in overcoming imposter syndrome was joining a business mastermind group. I now have three cheerleaders who are happy to celebrate my successes and show me how well I’m doing.
For you, this person might be a friend, a coach, a business person or a family member. Having someone on the outside who is able to remind you how well you’re doing is invaluable.
Doubt is normal
It’s perfectly normal to experience doubt, especially if you’re about to do something big. The goal, however, is not to let that doubt control your actions.
Practice is key
The more you start to challenge any limiting beliefs, the easier it’ll get. The more you talk yourself down when you feel like a fraud, the better you’ll get at it.
Be aware of your excuses
It can be really easy to listen to our internal monologues and put an idea to one side because your brain is telling you that you’re a fraud or not good enough. Don’t just blindly listen. Start to challenge those excuses and go back to the evidence of your successes as and when you need to.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Instagram culture means we see shiny, positive snippets of other people’s lives all the time. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to those people even though what we’re not seeing the whole story.
You’re not seeing the 200 other photos it took before they got to that shot; you’re not seeing the work that goes into that photo; you’re not seeing the meltdown moment before; and you can’t see the internal monologue that happens to sound a lot like yours.
You are your only competition. Strive to better yourself but don’t aim for perfection, it doesn’t exist.
This is one of my favourite techniques for tackling all sorts of mental health conditions and it’s been the sole driver in me being able to overcome anxiety.
Spend 20 minutes writing down all the things you believe about yourself. Even the horrible, embarrassing ones you’d never share with anyone. Why do you think you’re a fraud? Where does that come from? Dig deep, even if it all comes out as nonsense.
Then read it back.
Getting all of it out there will help you see things from another perspective and you’ll probably realise just how much of what you believe isn’t actually true. Once you can see this, you can start to challenge those beliefs more effectively.
This isn’t a fits-all solution to overcoming imposter syndrome but it might help you start to make progress. My work as a coach, as well as my experience with my own imposter syndrome, gives me a unique perspective on this topic and I’m keen to help as many as people as possible overcome this.
If you want to take a big step into fulfilling your potential and quashing that negative voice that says you’re not good enough, book in for a free 15-minute discovery call with me to see how I might be able to help. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the ball rolling.