Imposter Syndrome isn’t often acknowledged and recognised, but it’s experienced by many women. If you’ve ever felt like you don’t deserve an opportunity, possess inadequate skills to have achieved what you have or suffer from self-doubt and feel you may be ‘found out’, then you’re suffering from Imposter Syndrome.
Another word for ‘no confidence’ is unsure; and that’s exactly fitting for Imposter Syndrome, as those with it feel they don’t deserve where they’re at in life… sucks right?
Think of your greatest achievements and ask yourself: am I proud of what I’ve accomplished… or do I feel like a fraud? Imposter Syndrome will have you feeling the latter as a result of a lack of self-confidence. Focusing on your perceived shortcomings will do nothing to help your progress as a person professionally or personally, so overcoming Imposter Syndrome is critical. But, how do you go about it? Well, read on…
Focus On The Facts
Imposter Syndrome will have you believe that you’re undeserving of your status – and worse, that people may find this out and shame you for it. At this point, it’s important for you to maintain a focus on reality and keep facts in mind.
Worrying work situation? Ask yourself, am I getting fired or am I just paranoid?
Scary personal challenge ahead? Ask yourself if you know for certain that it’s going to go wrong… or are you overthinking it?
If it helps you to address it visually, write out your situation on paper and cross out anything that is not an absolute fact. Now look again. What’s left, and how would you approach the situation if you only knew what was written in front of you?
Drop The Expectations
Women are often held up as bossy rather than assertive, overly career-focused rather than successful and opinionated rather than intelligent. To own and celebrate your own success is often seen to be boastful or self-important but it’s not – this is just outdated and sexist; because it’s rarely the case for men!
Drop your ideals of being modest or unassuming and enjoy your achievements. If you can’t see and enjoy the progress you make then you’ll struggle to maintain motivation and momentum, which is not conducive to productivity.
OK, so this isn’t easy, but great maturity is shown in the ability to learn from mistakes and errors and move on from them. You don’t need to enjoy failure or celebrate it, but once a failure has elapsed and you’re able to look back at it objectively without too many feelings involved, learning can be made.
Don’t leave mistakes or try and cover them up, but instead work to understand them and formulate your approach for future situations around what has happened. If you’re unable to do this alone or feel you’re too emotionally charged to, involve a friend, family member or someone else you can trust to help you better analyse and work through it.
Change Your Story
Your self-talk is key to your mental health, self-confidence and your ability to achieve success. Whatever it is that you tell yourself when you have Imposter Syndrome needs to be ditched and changed, and positive dialogue and affirmations need to be embraced. Manifest and visualise success, and map out the steps you need to take in order to get the results you’re after.
The truth is: there is no ‘ready’. If you suffer from any degree of self-doubt at all, you’ll never feel as though you’re ready, no matter how much you prepare. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t do the groundwork, but equally you shouldn’t wait around to feel something that may never come. Change your story and steer your own ship – then if you experience choppy waters, navigate your way through them as they approach.
Imposter Syndrome is a difficult thing to overcome, and it’s something you’ll likely have to work at continually… but, once you’re able to work it out and begin to combat it, the world’s your oyster – and then there’s no limit to the things you can achieve!