Even the most successful and accomplished people (and in fact, often those very people!) suffer from Imposter Syndrome, and doubt their own skills, accomplishments and even their credibility, feeling as though they will eventually be ‘found out’ as frauds!
This way of thinking is hard to escape and it can be exhausting to go through life doubting your own abilities and the legitimacy of your successes. Feeling that others see you as being a ‘fraud’ and that you have somehow ‘cheated’ your way into your current position in life takes its toll. So how can you learn to accept your strengths and achievements?
Here are five steps to help you learn how to overcome imposter syndrome:
1. Quit comparisons
It’s inevitable that you will work alongside peers who got better grades at their better school… who have more experience, more symbols of success, and who receive a greater share of praise. But comparison really does rob us of happiness and leads to feelings of inferiority, when the truth is, your peers probably feel very similar. Wherever we get to in life, someone will be more experienced, more qualified and – at least on the face of it – more successful. So stop comparing and start thinking about your own strengths and achievements.
2. Think about your successes
You made your success. Yes, there is an element of luck in everyone’s path, but most achievements are down to old-fashioned hard work and commitment. So think about what you have done so far, and then give yourself a pat on the back.
3. Look at your language
You already praise and compliment others. Now do the same to yourself. Think about what makes you unique and focus on your authentic traits and strengths. What do you like about yourself? What have you achieved? What are you passionate about? Create a list and focus on these positives whenever you need a boost.
4. Embrace imperfection
Everyone is imperfect – everyone. I know I am! Embracing these imperfections takes courage but it’s also empowering. Remember that you will always have flaws – as does every single person around you – and simply work on them. By accepting imperfection, you will free yourself up to start taking chances again. Remember, if you are making mistakes, then you are challenging yourself and pushing your limits; something that will always take you further as you learn and evolve.
5. Get help
If you want to know how to overcome imposter syndrome, it really pays to ask for help. Let trusted colleagues and friends know how you feel. Get a mentor or coach and learn how to see yourself as they do. Consider working with a coach to learn techniques and tactics for working your way past the limitations of imposter syndrome, and beginning to understand your strengths and potential. Remember, by overcoming imposter syndrome ourselves, we can also help others who are holding themselves back; creating a real feedback loop of positive power.
Ready to find out more? Contact me for details of my flexible, supportive and personal coaching programmes, which are designed to help you beat imposter syndrome. For good!