If there are days that you feel like you don’t belong or don’t deserve what you have, you are not the only one. Learn how to stop impostor syndrome in its tracks, before it has the chance to sabotage your success.
You’ve earned this.
You’ve spent years working for this.
You’ve beaten out the competition and you’ve come out on top.
You deserve every ounce of credibility, applause, praise, and idolizing love that is being bestowed upon you. But for some reason, you feel like the world got it wrong.
At any point someone could come show the world that you’re just an average human being, who hasn’t accomplished all that much, and doesn’t deserve what they’ve gotten.
There are so many other smarter, more hard working, more deserving people and you are not one of them.
You don’t know what you’re talking about.
You’re not that great.
Impostor syndrome is “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.”
Impostor syndrome is the feeling you get when:
- you’re surprised people are asking for your opinion on something – don’t they know you’re practically making it up?
- people listen to what you suggest – what if you have no idea what you’re actually talking about and you’ve lied to everyone?
- you’re invited to something that feels so out of your league – you don’t deserve to be at this table with these people, you’re just a little country mouse who ended up in the big city.
- you believe you’ve faked your way into success – and everyone is going to realize it soon.
- you struggle to accept or internalize praise – I don’t deserve those comments, they don’t know the truth about me.
Impostor syndrome is a combination of feeling that you don’t deserve the opinion people have of you, and the belief that you are nothing to be impressed by.
Am I Extra Prone To Impostor Syndrome?
It’s all too common. It’s very prevalent in
- millennials that are trying to prove themselves
- minority groups that are trying to fit in
- women, because of history
God forbid you’re a millennial minority woman.
People who experience impostor syndrome compensate for those feelings by diving headfirst into overachieving. In an effort to prove themselves, they ‘hustle for worthiness’ (one of my favorite Brene Brown concepts).
Or, they self sabotage. As soon as they get close to realizing their dreams, they unconsciously act in a way that prevents them from crossing that finish line, without even knowing that they’re doing it.
They may struggle for years in the pursuit of their goals if they don’t work through impostor syndrome and the feelings of unworthiness it brings.
This is why working with an experienced life coach can accelerate your success. A coach will help you clear roadblocks you weren’t aware you were creating.
4 Actionable Strategies To Manage Impostor Syndrome
1. Realize you are not alone
It doesn’t go away once you’ve become ‘successful.’ The people you idolize struggle with this same feeling. They are not immune just because they’re ‘actually successful’ and you’ve ‘tricked people into thinking you’re successful.’ That’s only your perception of the situation and it is not accurate.
As you become more successful, impostor syndrome becomes more predominant.
Very high achieving and extremely successful people have admitted to this feeling still being prevalent in their lives.
Who would’ve thought Michelle Obama struggles with impostor syndrome?
You are not alone.
2. Learn to identify the feelings as they’re happening
If you can notice the physiological signs that tell you you’re feeling like a fraud, you can stop impostor syndrome before it impacts you.
- Does your heart start to race a little faster?
- Does your mind engage in patterns of negative thinking?
- Does your chest feel heavy and your breathing shallow?
- Is there a voice in your head saying ‘I shouldn’t be here’ and ‘I’m not good enough for this’?
Pinpoint the signs that suggest you’re about to be flooded with feelings of impostorism.
Once you can recognize them, you will be able to take action.
3. Rewire your brain by actively replacing your negative thoughts
Write out some mantras to have at the ready when you’re faced with a bout of impostorism.
Look at all of the evidence that suggests that you are truly amazing, and work it into your new positive self talk.
- I graduated at the top of my class because I am intelligent, hard working, and successful
- I built this business from the ground up because I know what I’m doing, I am driven to get things done, and I provide real value to people
- I have spent years crafting experience in this role, I know what I am talking about and I deserve to be at this table
- I am an amazing parent, I am doing my absolute best, and I am killing it
- I am doing enough, I have enough, I am enough
Whenever you catch yourself thinking ‘I’m not enough’, replace it with a positive mantra.
The more often you do it, the more quickly you will rewire your thinking patterns from negative to positive.
Then, when impostor syndrome hits, you can manage it.
4. Practice mindfulness and meditation
Impostor syndrome often brings with it a whole flood of feelings.
Meditation is a great way to calm your mind, focus your thoughts, and relax your body so that you are more grounded when you’re facing a struggle.
Even if you can’t lock yourself up in a quiet place for an hour before doing something you feel unqualified to do, you can always take 5 minutes to close your eyes and focus on your breath.
It will make a world of difference in how you respond to your fears.
Of course, meditating can be challenging in your calmest moments, not to mention in the middle of an emotional crisis.
Therefore, it’s critical that you build meditation into your evening or morning routine, so that you have more practice in controlling your emotions and the voice inside your head when the time comes.
This will ensure that when you’re breathing before a big client meeting, you’re not just hyperventilating with your eyes closed.
Impostor syndrome is a real pain in the butt.
It trivializes all of the mountains you’ve moved to get to where you are today and keeps you from shooting for more.
It’s important to recognize when you feel like a fraud, and manage it by
- understanding that it is normal
- identifying the emotions you feel
- replacing your negative thought patterns, and
- coming back to your breath
With these simple strategies, you can begin to tackle impostor syndrome so that it does not hold you back.
If you want to propel your success and achieve BIG dreams faster, work with me. I challenge high achievers to overcome perfectionism and procrastination so that they can go from average to unbelievable and build a life exploding with joy.
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- Self Care Is Critical: 10 Ideas To Start Today
When has impostor syndrome been most prevalent in your life? Let me know in the comments below!