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Imposter Syndrome - What is it and how do you overcome it?

Mar 04, 2022

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong, or everyone is going to find out that you are not qualified and don’t deserve your achievements? 

If you can relate to those feelings of chronic self-doubt, you’ve probably experienced imposter syndrome.  If so, you are in the right place. 

So, grab yourself a glass of water. And, make sure you have a pen and paper handy, so you are ready to take notes! In this article I will be revealing to you … 

9 Tips to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

 So what is imposter syndrome anyway? It refers to people who believe themselves to be inadequate or unaccomplished despite having quantifiable accomplishments. 

According to Melody Wilding, "it's a self-belief that you don't deserve or couldn't replicate your success. So despite very obvious evidence that you are competent and capable, such as getting your job in the first place, you still don't believe you're good enough. And specifically you think you're going to be exposed and found out as a fraud or a fake.

If you can relate to this feeling, you are not alone - studies suggest 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their career. 

 Overall, imposter syndrome stems from a high sense of self-doubt. Instead of attributing your success to your skills, you might downplay your success and attribute it to luck. 

So, here are five signs you might be suffering from imposter syndrome.  Let me know if you can relate to any of these in the comments below. 

  1. Perfectionism. If you are a perfectionist, you set high goals and standards for yourself. Because your goal is perfection, minor mistakes have the power to make you feel like a failure. I have come to terms with the fact that, in most cases, a task that is done is better than perfect. 
  2. The Luck Factor.  You might attribute your success to luck, but in doing so you downplay your success. Attributing your success to luck is akin to saying you do not believe you deserve the rewards of your hard work. 
  3. Self-Limiting Perception. Instead of celebrating your accomplishments, you worry that others will see "the truth" about your skills and abilities. It makes you unable to recognize your skills and talents.  
  4. Fear of failure. Because you fear failure, you might take on smaller projects and tasks so that you are less likely to fail. Unfortunately doesn't allow you to live up to your fullest potential and own your worth. 
  5. Inability to ask for help. You might have difficulty asking for help because you worry that it will plainly show that you're wrong or unqualified. 

Experiencing imposter syndrome limits your confidence and belief in yourself, your abilities and your skills. It limits the opportunities you seek out if you feel that you do not deserve them. 

Fortunately, however, there are some steps you can take to give yourself more credit and start overcoming those feelings of self-doubt. 

Here are the Nine Tips to Overcome Imposter Syndrome I promised you earlier: 

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. Like everything else in life, the first step is to acknowledge there is a problem. Recognize when you start feeling like an imposter. And, instead of engaging with your thoughts of self-doubt, remind yourself that it is a perfectly normal response.
  2. Understand the root cause. Often we find ways to hide problems rather than figure out what is causing the problem. So put on your detective hat and figure out why you think you feel like you don't belong. Notice if you have a hidden fear of failure lurking in the shadows. Is it that you don't believe that you deserve success? Why or why not? Take this step seriously! Take the time to answer these questions honestly. In fact, write your answers in the comments below. Do you have any fear of success or failure? What is holding you back? 
  3. Focus on what is true.  I know that your experience and how you feel feels true. But, too often, we add meaning and stories to what is true. We project our fears and limiting beliefs on the truth of the moment. So, when you start feeling like you are a fraud or not worthy, turn your focus on what is true right now. For example, maybe you were chosen for a job interview because of your qualifications and not just sheer luck.
  4. Trust your feelings.   Ok, so, in the last tip, I said that your feelings might feel true, but they may be based on added meaning and stories. And while this is true, your feelings do not lie. That is to say, if it feels bad, then chances are it's not true. And if it feels good, then chances are it is true. So, ask yourself if the thought is true. Do you absolutely know it to be true? Does it help or hinder you? Does feeling unworthy serve you in some way, or does it hold you back? Do you feel good believing the thought, or is there another thought that feels truer or better? Turn your attention to the kind of person do you want to be. How do you feel when you think about the person you want to be? Trust those feelings. 
  5. Reframe your thoughts. Instead of telling yourself that you don't deserve success, reframe your thoughts to give yourself more credit and enjoy the experience. That means that you want to own your accomplishments instead of attributing them to "luck" or "help from others." Instead of setting impossibly high standards, set smaller goals so you can enjoy the process. Remind yourself there will never be the "perfect time." Accept that we all have to start somewhere. 
  6. Accept your mistakes. Failure is a normal part of success. In fact, people who have achieved any standard of success have only done so because they have accepted failure as part of the journey. And in doing so, they have failed more than the average person. Instead of fearing failure, develop a healthy response to making mistakes. Failures are a learning opportunity. It's only a mistake if you haven't learned anything from it.  
  7. Get help. We all need support. Reach out to someone you trust or a group or community that can give you the support you need. Having a safe space to receive support will help reduce feelings of being an imposter. When you feel imperfect, make a mistake, or receive a compliment, your first instinct may be to hide. Instead, start reaching out to an encouraging mentor, coach, or colleague for support. Practice being honest when you feel imperfect, embarrassed, or have made a mistake. 
  8. Graciously accept compliments. Instead of whisking away compliments with your hand gestures of the flick of your fingers, say "thank you" when you receive a compliment. Practice bringing that compliment to your heart with your hand to absorb it fully. 
  9. Celebrate your accomplishments. It's so important to pause to reflect and celebrate where we are in life. So, make a point of sharing and celebrating your achievements and successes. It will help reinforce the fact that you deserve every bit of it. 

Imposter syndrome can make you feel like you're not good enough, don't belong, or are undeserving of where you are in life right now. But it's important to remind yourself that continuing to learn and making mistakes do not make you unworthy - it makes you human. 

Instead of doubting yourself, practice the nine tips I shared to continue to build your self-esteem and self-worth. 

Now it's your turn. Share your experience with imposter syndrome in the comments below. Let's support each other on the journey. 

And, remember to take care of yourself, take the time to pause and feel the next breath, and truly live this life to the fullest. 

The journey continues every day. That's why I create these trainings. We have to make the time to reconnect to ourselves and remind ourselves of who we are. We have to live out what we are here to be, do, have, create, express or experience. 

It matters. Because you matter.

Live. Love. Laugh. Because it really does matter.


Ps. If you want to continue the journey with me, schedule a call!



Is there something holding you back? Do you feel stuck, ashamed, unlovable, unworthy or depressed? Do you long to transform your life and create what you truly desire most?

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