I consider myself a fairly successful person. I’ve never had trouble finding a job. I have numerous degrees, licenses, and certifications. I have a loving family. But sometimes even I can’t shake the feeling that I’m failing at everything that I do. Imposter syndrome loves to rear
Imposter Syndrome? What’s that?
So what exactly is imposter syndrome? It is a psychological thought pattern where individuals doubt their accomplishments and have an internalized fear of being “found out”. If you’ve ever felt this way, here are some amazing tips to help you crush imposter syndrome.
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Celebrate Your Achievements (even the small ones)
Your accomplishments have shown what you are capable of and what is possible for your future. Have you gotten a degree? Guess what! You can do it again. Have you quit a job? You can do it again!
Recognize That Mistakes Happen To Everyone
We all make mistakes. I’ve made plenty of them (often multiple times). However, what we learn from our mistakes helps to set us apart. What did you learn from a mistake that you made? How did that help you do better next time?
Realize that Everyone Starts from Somewhere
We all start from somewhere. Your favorite celebrity, your boss, your best friend that you’re a little envious of: they all started somewhere, oftentimes in places that we least expect or don’t even know about. Everyone that you admire has had to overcome mistakes, learn new things, and shift their perspectives. It’s okay to start from exactly where you are.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Like I mentioned above, we may not know the full story of what everyone has gone through to accomplish what they have and we may not have the same skillsets, connections, or goals. And that is perfectly okay! You are unique and have something new and different to offer the world. You don’t have to do the same thing as everyone else to accomplish what you want.
Start Comparing Yourself To Your Past Self
So few paragraphs above, we talked about starting where you are. But where have you been? How do you compare to your past self? For me, I’m more open to being vulnerable and more assertive. What are you more of? What are you less of? Think about how much you’ve changed and grown over your lifespan.
Change Your Focus From Yourself to Others
Changing your focus from yourself to others in this context means think about not comparing yourself to others, but what you have done and can do for others. Are you a whiz at giving great advice? Do people come to you for help with their taxes? There are things that you can do that people value and want.
Surround Yourself with People Who Empower You
This one is key! Having a group of people who you can turn to when you need support is essential in combating impostor syndrome. When you’re feeling down, these people can lift you up. These people can be your friends, family members, co-workers, FaceBook group members (which I highly recommend) or other people that you feel a connection with.
Read The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Dr. Valarie Young
Dr. Valarie Young goes into depth about imposter syndrome in this book, why its common among successful women, and how you can recognize it in your own life. I highly recommend this book if you are looking to go more in-depth on imposter syndrome.
Find Someone To Help
Sometimes thoughts and feelings are so deeply ingrained and part of who we are, that we may need help to change our mindset. There is not a particular type of person that you need to go to, but people that can help with this include life and mindset coaches, therapists, or spiritual advisors.
You are more than qualified to handle anything that comes your way.
Briana Hollis is a licensed social worker and self-care coach. She earned her Master of Science in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University in 2014 and her Master of Education from Tiffin University in 2019. She has spent the last 5 years working in crisis intervention. Her passion for serving others is the heart of this site. She started Learning To Be Free to assist others in bringing freedom to their lives.
Briana is also the author of The Self-Care Journal for Young Adults.