Imposter syndrome is a coping mechanism to justify your fear of failure and success, and it’s keeping you from living an authentic life.
I’ve been there. I’ve felt it for years. Over time, I’ve learned that imposter syndrome, like many other things in life, is a process. It doesn’t just go away overnight.
You can learn how to counter those thoughts with these 5 methods:
1) You have nothing to prove
When you feel like you have something to prove, it’s because you think you don’t deserve what you have. This may be because you:
1) Consciously or subconsciously don’t believe that you are enough, or
2) You believe that your accomplishments are somehow less meaningful in comparison to others.
Remember: the only person you have to prove is yourself. You owe it to yourself to live the life you desire. In this life, the game is you vs you, and no one else.
2) Put your purpose first
View your work as something that’s bigger than you — not just a job, but as you work towards a life that aligns with your purpose, morals, and values.
Remind yourself why it’s important to keep growing, even when things get tough or when you feel like giving up altogether.
3) We all mess up and we all have failures
Do you expect the loved ones in your life to never make mistakes? No, because it doesn’t change the way you love them.
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has failures. And that’s okay. That’s what makes us human.
3) Your fears are irrational
When you feel like an imposter, try to examine why you think this way: Is there evidence for this belief? What is the evidence that you’re successful? Have you ever done something in your life once that scared you? What was the outcome of that experience? Did you grow and learn? If so, what is stopping you now?
4) Practice self-compassion
If there’s one thing my therapist has instilled in me, it’s to practice self-compassion (she brings this at least once every session).
Self-compassion is treating yourself with the same kindness, understanding and acceptance you would treat your loved ones. Perfection is a false and subjective idea.
5) Talk about it
There is something about naming your fears out loud that makes them less scary.
Get rid of negative self-talk by journaling as much as you can. Write down your feelings without judgement or criticism. This helps identify patterns in your thinking so that you can stop them when they come up again later on in life.
Ultimately, what’s most important is that you do the work and get better over time.
Let yourself be seen. Take up space. Put yourself out there. Own your accomplishments, grow confidence in yourself and your abilities, believe that you deserve what you want and pursue it whole-heartedly.
You are worthy. Create the life of your dreams! And above all else: don’t be the one to hold yourself back.