How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

There are times you feel you are not good enough to deliver on your job and that your employer will figure it out soon. Or perhaps you have felt like you are only holding a persona of adulthood who is capable of owning a home and meeting his/her family responsibilities, even though everyone else around you has it figured out; You are not alone in this, most other people have felt the same way too. No matter how much there is to show that we successfully navigating our lives, career, and relationships, many of us still hold fictitious beliefs that we are not as competent and proficient as others think we are. This feeling makes you think that everyone else knows what they are doing except you. You will be apprehensive that people around you are going to figure out that you are not that smart and expose you as a fraud.


What is Imposter syndrome?

This refers to an experience of believing that you are not good, or as competent as people perceive you to be. It entails a feeling of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persists despite your level of education, experience, and accomplishments, accompanied by persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.  Those experiencing this psychological pattern, are convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve all their successes. They attribute their achievements to luck or a product of their deceit of others into thinking they are more intelligent and worthy than they perceive themselves to be; Unfortunately, they take on all of the blame for any mistake they make Imposter syndrome can manifest itself in so many areas, mostly:

  • At work: individuals with this syndrome often attribute their career and professional accomplishments to luck rather than their abilities and work ethic. This could make them passive about asking for better remuneration or applying for a promotion. They might also feel like they have to work harder to achieve the impossibly high standards they have set.
  • In homes: parents sometimes feel clueless, incapable, and despondent over their responsibility of parenting a child. If this feeling continues unchecked, parents may struggle to make the right decisions for their child out of fear it will affect the child negatively.
  • In relationships: people sometimes feel undeserving of the affection and care they get from a significant other and fear that their partner will realize that they are not that cool. Sadly, this may lead them to self-sabotage the relationship and end it before the other person can.
  • In schools: students with imposter syndrome might avoid speaking up in class or asking a question for fear that their peers and teacher might think they are clueless and make jest of them.


How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

To overcome these feelings, you need to consciously confront some of those deeply ingrained false beliefs you hold about yourself. This could be difficult because you might not even realize the disorderly situation, but here are some ways to go about overcoming imposter syndrome.

  1. Stop resisting your feelings: self-denial will be a minus in this regard. Accepting you have a problem is the first step toward healing. It is only when you acknowledge them that you start unraveling those core false beliefs that are holding you back.
  2. Talk about your feelings: feel free to share how you feel with dependable friends and family members. These insensible beliefs tend to fester when they are hidden and not talked about. Knowing that having such feelings is a disorder and that you are not alone will be relieving.
  3. Evaluate your abilities: if you have felt this sense of incompetence about your work and social life for a while, it will be a good idea to do a frank assessment of your abilities. Take time and write down your accomplishments; look at where you are coming from, the challenges you overcame, and the impact you have created across the different spectrums of society. Compare your successes with your abilities; You will be shocked at the evenness between them.
  4. Look out for others: this may appear counter-intuitive, but trying to help others in a similar situation can be helpful to you. If you come across a colleague or an acquaintance who acts awkward or as a loner, ask that question to know what it is. As you interact with him/her you will build confidence in your capabilities and competencies.
  5. Separate your feelings from facts: sometimes you feel dumb or foolish. It happens to everyone. Just realize that because you feel that way, doesn’t mean you are. Question if your thoughts are rational. And figure out how to distill these kinds of thoughts from the reality before you, it will help you bounce back to continue giving your best at whatever you do.
  6. Avoid perfectionism: most times, being obsessive with perfection can degenerate into imposter syndrome. The quest for perfection can be a good thing if it keeps you on your toe, but expecting everything to be, can be a dangerous illusion. So don’t focus on doing things perfectly, but rather, do things right and reward yourself at the end of each success story.
  7. Stop all forms of unhealthy competition: whenever you compare yourself with others, you will find some fault about yourself that can ignite the feeling of not being worthy of belonging. Instead, focus on building yourself and plan. More so, during conversations, focus on listening to what is being said, and be open to learning.
  8. Check your use of social media: excessive use of social media may fuel the feeling of inferiority. If you succumb to social media influence and try to portray an image of who you are not or impossible to achieve, it will only make you feel like a fraud. Use social media only when you need or have to.
  9. Respond positively to failures and mistakes: mistakes are sometimes opportunities to learn. As they say “whoever doesn’t learn from his/her mistakes is a fool”. Instead of demeaning yourself for a failure, assess the situation and identify the reasons you failed and learn from it, you will be better the next time you have a shot at something the same or similar.
  10. Don’t let it hold you back: regardless of how less you feel about yourself and how much you underscore your successes, don’t let it make you lose sight of where you are going. Keep fighting and moving and the sky will be your bedrock.

As humans, we are always going to be faced with new challenges and experiences, and that is when this sort of feeling comes out. So it is important to recognize that imposter syndrome can arise at any time; Especially if the people you are surrounded by are having different achievements. So whenever you feel this way, make use of the highlighted points, it will enable you re-adjust your mindset towards being more appreciative of yourself and your accomplishments.

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