Never Feel Like An Impostor Again: 7 Ways To Overcome Impostor Syndrome
I felt like an impostor for the first time when I was named Teacher of the Year in my second year as a teacher.
Instead of feeling proud of this pretty astounding accomplishment so early on in my career as a teacher, I wondered if I had tricked my peers that had voted for me into thinking that I was a better teacher than I was. Deep in my heart I wanted to be proud of myself, but instead I felt unsettled, insecure and even a little ashamed.
By all accounts I should have felt fantastic, on top of the world! Instead, I had a strange feeling that I didn't belong, that I would be found out and everyone would know I was a fraud.
It's called Impostor Syndrome.
Are you dreaming of starting something new that would be amazing but wonder who in the heck you think you are for even thinking you could accomplish something so awesome?
Or do you ever feel like the success you are experiencing is by accident? That maybe you didn't really earn it and it might disappear at any moment?
Does this type of thinking cause you to hesitate in taking the next step towards reaching a goal in your business or even in your personal life? If you are nodding your head right now...let's work together to never feel like impostors again.
To fully experience the joys and reap the rewards of our successes, we need to find ways to tame the monster whispering in our minds telling us that we aren’t for real.
Here are 7 ways to overcome the impostor syndrome.
1. REALIZE YOU AREN'T ALONE
By realizing that we aren't alone in these feelings and by finding others that we look up to that have dealt with similar monster whisperings will help to take some of the power the impostor syndrome has over us away.
Did you know that author and poet Maya Angelou talked about her fear of being found out even after she had eleven books published? She felt like an impostor even after having so much success as an author.
If you look hard enough, you will find someone you look up to that has felt like an impostor at some point in their career. Just knowing you aren't alone in these feelings will help the feelings to not have power over you.
2. SHARE YOUR FEELINGS WITH SOMEONE YOU TRUST
Naming something and talking it through with someone that knows you well and you trust will help to lessen the grip these negative feelings have over you. Most likely they will share a time they experienced similar feelings as well. And there you go...someone you trust and admire has dealt with this impostor syndrome before. You are not alone!
Choose who you share your feelings with wisely and be as open and honest as possible. Don't isolate yourself. Be willing to share how you are feeling and let someone help you through it.
3. MAKE A LIST OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Sometimes we can be in such a negative frame of mind that we don't let ourselves admit that we have achieved a lot up to this point. If we will take the time to really stop and look back over our lives, we will see how far we have come.
Grab your journal, get to a quiet place or a place that inspires you and let your mind wonder to the past. Focus on all you have accomplished and learned over the years. Anytime self doubt or negative thoughts come in your mind, push them aside. This time is simply for reflecting on the good. Even things as trivial as getting your driver's license is important to your success. The small things are important to where we are now in our lives.
Many people spend more time looking at their failures than focusing on their successes. Remind yourself every day of the things that have gone well for you in your life. And use this truth as the spring board you need to propel yourself forward.
4. AVOID COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Comparing yourself to others is the fastest way to steal your joy.
There will always be people that are a little ahead of us or who have accomplished more. It is just part of life. Instead of comparing yourself in a negative way to these people, look to them for inspiration. Believe that if they can accomplish those things so can you.
Focus on how far you have come and where you plan to go from here. Believe you can accomplish your dreams and goals and then get busy taking action toward them.
5. DON'T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY
I love what Elbert Hubbard says about this - “Do not take yourself too seriously. You will never get out of it alive!”
Having a sense of humor and being able to laugh at ourselves makes everything in life go easier and smoother. It helps keep us from feeling overwhelmed by our accomplishments and disappointed in our failings. Because we all have them.
6. LET GO OF TRYING TO BE PERFECT
Life is a journey, with ups and downs, successes and failures. If we try to go through this thing called life being perfect we will not only let ourselves down, but also miss out on tons of blessings.
We are all created with strengths and talents that are meant for a purpose. We all have a job to do. But if we feel like the only way to be successful at it is to be perfect, well, we aren't going to get very far.
Let go of feeling like you have to know it all to do good things. We learn as we go, grow as we progress, and stumble our way to success most of the time.
7. STUDY AND INCREASE YOUR SKILLS
Although we can't ever be perfect and should definitely give up trying, we should work on growing our skills.
Part of feeling like an impostor has to do with stumbling into parts of our success without feeling like we really knew what we were doing. Most of the time that isn't true. We do know what we are doing but because we love it so much it doesn't feel like work. We feel like an impostor because the struggle wasn't there.
But...we can always improve our skills and learn more. Part of reaching our goals and running a successful business is having the mindset that "learners are earners". I also like the "learners are leaders" mindset. Make it a point to always be studying, learning and growing your skills.
As you probably have already figured out, I totally think this impostor syndrome is killing our mojo. So let's get to using these strategies and never feel like an impostor again.
Have you ever struggled with feeling like an impostor? What did you do to overcome it? Leave me a comment!
AUTHOR: REBECCA RENFROW
Rebecca Renfrow helps mom business owners push forward and reach their goals so they can grow a thriving business that they love and live their life on purpose. She is also the co-owner of Socially Tailored Marketing, a freelance firm that specializes in helping entrepreneurs who want to build their brand and influence in the marketplace but feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with the ever changing rules of social media and the time it takes to learn the many facets of online marketing. She is passionate about helping women entrepreneurs live their life on purpose because otherwise, what's the point?!
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