Impostor syndrome is a something that strikes every single one of us at one point or another. (Check out my previous post to learn more about impostor syndrome) Just like the other fears we have, it’s completely natural and just a regular part of life. We all struggle to try to overcome the impostor syndrome. If we’re not careful, it ends up holding us back and preventing us from reaching our full potential. Just like the other fears we have, there are some pretty simple tips to overcome the impostor syndrome that may help.
8 Tips To Overcome The Impostor Syndrome:
1. Focus on the positives:
Focusing on the positive things rather than the negatives is probably the most important thing you can do. If you’re sitting around wallowing in that fear and negativity, you won’t be able to make any progress. It’s all about the law of attraction. If you’re feeling like you’re going to encounter people saying hateful things, or that your product is going to flop, or that you don’t know what you’re talking about, then that’s probably what you’re going to get. Shifting your mental focus to the positives is going to shift your whole experience overall. You’ll be able to identify all of the good things that are happening as a result of you working to overcome the impostor syndrome. It will give you that boost of confidence to keep moving forward.
2. Positive Affirmations:
A positive affirmation is basically a statement that is debunking a fear or negative thought you have about yourself. I never really thought about positive affirmations until I started on my self-employed journey, but they’ve helped me overcome the impostor syndrome and other fears that I’ve had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not constantly going around thinking and talking about how amazing I am, but if there’s something I’m particularly stuck on, I’ll write down a positive affirmation just to give my brain a way to move forward. If you’re anything like me, your brain constantly has a ton of what-if scenarios buzzing around. Writing down a positive affirmation helps me sift through all of that to be a little more rational and push through the negativity.
Fear- I’ve never done this before so who am I to think that I have enough knowledge or authority? People are going to find out I’m a fraud.
Positive Affirmation: Everyone starts somewhere! I have a lot of life experience that supports what I’m doing PLUS I’m knowledgeable about the topic.
That’s kind of a general example, but you get the idea. The point is to acknowledge and overcome the specific fear or negative thought. Whenever you start to feel it creeping up on you again, you just reread the affirmation. If it’s a pesky one, I like to put it somewhere that I can see it regularly and remind myself (vision board, planner, etc.)
3. Stop comparing yourself to others:
This is a hard thing to do for a lot of people, but once you do, you will feel free and more confident. We spend so much time comparing ourselves to others that it can get really discouraging. It’s easy to get sucked into comparing yourself to others accomplishments, bodies, careers, possessions, etc. It really reinforces the feeling of not being good enough.
It’s such a liberating feeling to let go of all of those comparisons. Sure, keep up with others in your industry for inspiration, motivation, and encouragement, but don’t focus on the ways that they are doing better. You have a unique perspective and something special to bring to the table. Don’t let these comparisons prevent you from reaching your potential.
4. Find your voice and style:
One of the easiest ways to overcome the impostor syndrome is to find and unleash your unique voice and style. You should do what comes naturally to you and not try to be something you’re not. Using your unique voice will ensure that people respect and trust you more. By incorporating yourself into everything you do, people will know that you’re being honest with them. Work on bringing your own voice and style into what you do, rather than copying someone else. Be authentic. This will give you that added boost of confidence you need.
5. Focus on who you’re trying to connect with and brush off the haters:
The thing about using your voice and incorporating your style is that not everyone is going to fall madly in love with you. And let me tell you a secret… that’s OKAY! In fact, it’s great! There are going to be trolls and haters out there who try to bring you down, but you just have to brush them off. You need to realize that they’re just not the right person to connect with or your ideal client. The key here is to not worry about them and work on connecting with the right people. You have too much to offer to be brought down by people who just don’t get you.
6. Perfection is overrated… and non-existent:
Trying to be perfect is another big aspect of the impostor syndrome. But, perfection doesn’t exist. If you’re still stuck comparing yourself to others, odds are you probably think that those people have the perfect lives. Their pictures on Instagram look perfect… they’re always talking about how perfect their lives are… the celebrities you admire always seem to have that perfect look. The thing is, a lot of time went into those Instagram pictures to make them look that way, they only talk about the good things and not the bad, and those celebrities not only have personal stylists, but their pics are often airbrushed. Perfection doesn’t exist.
We get so hung up on having everything just perfect, that we often don’t make much if any progress. I’ve been a perfectionist for most of my life and it wasn’t until I finally realized that it just doesn’t exist that I was able to move forward. There will always be room for improvement. If you’re constantly waiting for that perfect moment, you’re never going to reach those goals. Instead, understand that it won’t be perfect and choose to do it anyway. You will get better every single time.
7. Understand that you will mess up… and it’s okay:
Everybody makes mistakes. Especially when you’re trying something for the first time, you can count on the fact that you’re gonna mess up. This is how you learn! Understanding and accepting that fact is how you start to overcome the impostor syndrome. The key here is to keep moving forward and learn from your mistakes. You’ll do better the next time.
8. Fake it til you make it:
Okay, so I wasn’t going to include this one because I feel like it often gets misinterpreted. Imagine for a second that you needed to have surgery. You meet your surgeon and they are super confident and make you feel good about them operating on you. Little do you know, your “surgeon” hasn’t finished med school. That’s not going to end well and isn’t the right situation that you should be faking anything. What I mean by faking it until you make it, is finding that confidence and excitement that you may feel like doesn’t exist, and making it seem like you’ve got it. You’ve got the knowledge and expertise, but you put on your positive face to exude confidence.
Anytime we try something new, we’re going to be freaked out and have all of these doubts. A normally confident person can easily turn into an incredibly anxious person. You’ve got to dig deep sometimes to really pull out the confidence. You can’t let the fear cripple you.
In what ways have you encountered the impostor syndrome? How did you overcome it?