Imposter syndrome is the conviction that despite our experience, skills and qualifications, we’re somehow just good enough for the job we’re in and we live in fear of being found out. This can drive us to work longer and harder to overcompensate. It’s an exhausting cycle and if you suffer from imposter syndrome – here are 5 tips to help you overcome it.
Re-set your mindset; from scarcity to enough.
Imposter syndrome comes from a ‘scarcity mindset’. From here we are convinced that we lack what we require – that we just aren’t good enough. It’s fear based and triggers fear responses, which is what can lead us to such anxiety. Try replacing this with an ‘enough mindset’ and substituting fear with self-love. Appreciate that you are enough exactly as you are, with all your flaws and talents. Sure you can learn and grow, but as a starting point you ARE enough. You are much more likely to do well if you are coming from a place of believing that you are enough. It relaxes you and stops you from reacting as if you are being attacked, and puts you into a state of ease and flow. This in turn means you are more likely to perform better.
Imposter syndrome and its toxic friend perfectionism come from a fantasized version of the world. They are both false constructs and they damage us so much because we can only ever fall short in relation to them. Remembering that everyone is human and therefore fallible can be a hugely helpful re-frame here. You don’t have to be perfect – no-one can be. Just give of your best and that will be enough.
Notice your self-talk and challenge it by inviting more voices. Often it’s the loud critical voice in our heads that makes it so hard to believe that we are enough. Notice how and when that loud critical voice dominates your thinking. It’s like that person at a party who arrives and takes over the conversation not letting anyone else get a word in edgeways. Rather than just wishing it away (which is pretty hard when it’s so established), try inviting a couple of other voices. That quiet person next to you at a party who might have a different view. What might a kinder voice say? What would your best friend be saying? Try listening to them for a bit and have a break from the critic.
Keep an ‘I did it list’.
We all have to-do lists telling us what we have to do. But try keeping an ‘I did it’ list at the end of each day. Write down the two or three things that you are pleased to have achieved that day. It helps us to remember that we are making progress.
Create your ‘enough’ mantra.
Write a sentence that speaks directly to the doubts that you feel. For example, “I am good enough exactly as I am”. Practice saying it to yourself every single day. When you change what you believe about yourself, anything is possible.
First published in the Metro.