For many who are trying their best to make a difference in the world, beating imposter syndrome is a definite must.
For many high achievers, hard workers, and perfectionists, imposter syndrome can derail their efforts and wreak havoc on achieving any positive results.
Imposter syndrome was first defined in the 1970s when high achieving women struggled to take credit for their own success and felt undeserving of their accolades.
Today, many women (and men) doubt their own abilities and feel like they are not good enough to do the job or task they were hired to do. When they do achieve something, they feel like a fraud and undeserving of their praise. Their greatest fear is that at some moment, someone is going to find them out.
Too many times we feel like we’re pretending to be smart, funny, articulate, or inspiring when in reality, we are completely capable in our abilities to achieve.
We also may feel that everyone else has got things figured out while we are still inexperienced amateurs. But that’s not true, either.
When I started my speaking career, imposter syndrome was a huge stumbling block for me. But over time, I’ve learned that by beating imposter syndrome, I can show up to every speech authentically me. After all, that’s what people are expecting.
The truth is—no one has things figured out. We’re all just doing the best we can. And once we kick imposter syndrome to the curb, there is no limit to the good we can accomplish.
Here are five ways of beating imposter syndrome in your own life.
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
This is one of those things that we tend to do without really thinking about it. When we see others, we naturally compare ourselves to them to find similarities. It’s a way to connect with others.
But the danger comes when we take comparing to an unhealthy extreme and criticize ourselves for our differences.
We were not meant to be the same. How crazy would the world be if we were?
We’re different for a reason. The world needs each of us, and there is no one else in the world just like you.
If we can learn to embrace our differences and even find joy in them, we will realize that we are not an imposter at all.
You are the only you there is. As long as you are living your life authentically, you will never be an imposter.
Just be yourself—that’s what the world needs the most.
Make the decision to be confident.
I know this sounds easier said than done, but it’s true. Mindset is an important key to success.
When you are confident, you can push through your fears and accomplish whatever it is you are facing in life.
By confidently walking into a room, you are letting everyone else know that you know what you’re doing, and they can trust you to get the job done.
The truth is, you see yourself differently than everyone else. And everyone you meet has a different idea of who you are. You are not the same person to your neighbor as you are to your boss.
When you show up as confidant, that is the person you will be for the people around you.
Who you are and how you show up in the world all comes down to your own mindset.
Beating imposter syndrome can be as simple as owning who you are and showing up with confidence.
Separate fact from fiction.
Oftentimes, imposter syndrome comes as a direct result of your own personal feelings rather than actual facts.
Too often, we are our own worst enemies. Negative self-talk begins a downward spiral of doubt and fear until we talk ourselves right out of being courageous.
If you start telling yourself that you don’t know what you’re doing, turn that negative chatter into something more constructive.
Remind yourself of your experience, your education, your passion, and your abilities. You may not have all of those things, but there is something that got you to where you are. Use that as motivation to keep you moving forward.
Once you can discern between fact and fiction, you can then steer your mind towards the facts of the situation you find yourself in.
Facts are truth. Fiction is the negative voices in your head brought on by your own feelings of inadequacy.
Focus on the facts—they are great evidence of what you’ve already accomplished.
Remember the things that you do well.
We all have things we want to improve on. But we also have things that we excel at.
When we remember the things we do well, it shows us how far we’ve actually come.
Take the time to make a list of all the things that you are good at. Include in your list all the things that qualify you for the job you have or the work that you are doing.
Similarly, when someone gives you accolades, write it down. Keep the emails and letters from individuals who are praising your efforts and your talent.
You will never please all of the people in the world all of the time. But there will be some people who value and appreciate the work you do. When you find those people, invite them to write a review for you, or provide a testimonial.
Keep these in a special folder that you can review on the days you feel imposter syndrome creeping in.
On those difficult days, we can easily forget the good we are doing and the good we’ve already done.
One of the greatest ways of beating imposter syndrome is simply remembering how far you’ve come and the good you’ve already accomplished.
Talk to a trusted mentor.
Chances are, everyone has felt imposter syndrome at some point in their life. Every time we try something new, we have to move past our own feelings of inadequacy.
One of the best ways I’ve found to combat my doubts is to talk with someone about how they did it. Did they have imposter syndrome when they first started?
Knowing that imposter syndrome is something other people have experienced will help you to put less stock in your own imposter syndrome.
Additionally, ask others how they see you. Ask them to identify your strengths and your weaknesses. Solicit trusted advice on how you can improve.
Seeing yourself from someone else’s eyes can help boost your confidence and provide you with the courage to keep moving forward. It can also give you the feedback you need to keep improving yourself.
Beating imposter syndrome is really about seeing yourself as the talented and capable person that you already are.
Once you know who you are, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to with courage and confidence.
Most of all, beating imposter syndrome means that you will always show up as the extraordinary, unordinary you.