How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome, Feel Fulfilled and Enjoy Success
No one wants to feel less about themselves; feelings of inadequacy are never a choice. But when it happens, you feel helpless. Your misperception about yourself shakes your confidence and you feel you don’t deserve the success you have achieved.
What is imposter syndrome
Have you ever heard a little voice whispering in your ears and telling you that you don’t deserve your accomplishments and that you’re a fraud? Most people have, at some point or the other in their lives, though many won’t muster the courage to admit it.
Your inability to believe in your abilities and claim your success leads to self-doubt and affects your work performance. You constantly feel you lack the skills and that people around you are overvaluing you and overrating your abilities.
Feelings of inadequacy can come despite you being intelligent, hardworking, competent, and worthy of the success and accolades you are getting. Underestimating your value and achievements impacts your sense of self and reduces your faith in yourself.
How to know you are suffering from imposter syndrome
Imposter syndrome creates feelings of relentless self-doubt and makes you feel less of yourself. Here are some signs that will help you know you’re going down that road.
- You feel inadequate
- You feel success came to you by chance or luck
- You think you don’t measure up to anything
- You set the bar too high for yourself
- You find it impossible to feel proud of your achievements
- You feel uncomfortable when others compliment you for your work
- You feel your life is all sham and façade
- You dread being exposed
Effects of imposter syndrome
No one wants to feel less about themselves; feelings of inadequacy are never a choice. But when it happens, you feel helpless. Your misperception about yourself shakes your confidence at its very core, and the false beliefs cloud your mind. As a result, you are convinced you don’t deserve the success you have achieved.
The feelings of incompetence take you down a negative spiral where you work even harder to meet your unrealistic high standards. The result of this ‘pushing yourself beyond limits’ is that you become nervous, experience a high level of anxiety, and cannot give your best or unleash your full potential.
How to deal with imposter syndrome
You cannot feel good about yourself and live a fulfilling life when deep within you feel unworthy of your achievements and believe you haven’t earned your success.
To avoid being overwhelmed by self-doubt and deal with constantly feeling crippled by self-doubt, you must take the bull by the horns and confront the imposter phenomenon. It will put you in a stronger position and empower you to forge ahead on your chosen path, besides deepening your faith in yourself.
Here are three ways to combat imposter syndrome.
1. Acknowledge the feeling
Don’t deny or overlook that you’re experiencing the imposter phenomenon. Like most other negative feelings, it won’t go away on its own. The more you try to ignore or brush it under the carpet, the more it will impact your life.
It’s important to realize that you’re not alone; there are scores and scores of people affected by imposter syndrome. Many struggle with it silently because they’re too scared to open up and publicly admit it. This can cause significant mental distress and lower your self-esteem.
Acknowledging that you are plagued by imposter syndrome is, therefore, the first step you can take to deal with it. When you choose to single out and highlight a problem, you can commit to sorting it out.
The courage to accept you have an issue that’s taking its toll on you allows you to speak about it and make efforts to either fix it yourself or seek other people’s help.
Acceptance makes you more aware of the subtle signs of the imposter syndrome that you had previously missed and dismissed as underconfidence due to under preparation or simply humility.
You also become self-reflective and begin to pay attention to your own behavior. It helps you pinpoint the triggers that evoke feelings of inadequacy. Patterns start emerging, and slowly you can figure out where those negative thoughts are coming from, where the problem lies, and what needs to be done to overcome it.
2. Develop a positive mindset
Imposter syndrome makes you doubt your achievements and pushes you to think you are undeserving of the praise and accolades that are coming your way. This happens even when you have worked hard, put in your best, and the people around you validate your success. Hence this is clearly a problem with your thoughts and how you process things in your head.
But you cannot just brush away the negative thoughts. Dealing with self-doubt and insecurities requires more profound work and involves changing of mindset from negative to positive.
To overcome the imposter syndrome and stop feeling like a fraud, you must change the way you look at yourself and how you evaluate your own work.
Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, pulling yourself down for your limitations, and admonishing yourself for little mistakes, start noticing your positive attributes and strengths.
Stop chasing perfection and encourage yourself to pursue excellence. This will free you from excessively high-performance standards that you hold yourself to. Embrace your flaws and learn to love yourself. You’re only a human, so accept yourself the way you are and give your best in whatever you do.
Reminding yourself of how much value you create and add to yourself and those around you will go a long way in helping you beat feelings of worthlessness.
Make a list of your positive qualities, talents, and abilities, and go through it often to wade off the feeling of being inadequate. Never miss an occasion to appreciate yourself for making a difference with what you do.
3. Boost your self-worth
It’s agonizing to be at the receiving end of negativity and put up with anything or anyone that brings you down. When it’s toxic people around you, you can red-flag them and devise a strategy to deal with them.
But things are not all that simple, and it’s not easy to fight when the enemy is within you—sitting right in your head—and deprecating and demeaning you. The constant criticism sows the seeds of self-doubt in your mind and leads you to believe you’re not good enough for anything.
To overcome imposter syndrome, work on changing your perspective and interpreting things by turning around the inner narrative. You can build higher self-worth by harnessing the power of internal self-talk.
Challenge the false beliefs and change the stories you tell yourself about who you are or what you are capable of.
Make conscious efforts to notice your good work, and don’t keep away from giving yourself credit where it is due.
Praise yourself when you good something good, complete a task, reach a milestone or achieve your goal. Mentally make a note of this ‘proof’ of your caliber and expertise and use it to remind yourself of your greatness each time the negative feelings pop their ugly head.
This will help raise your sense of self and restore your faith in yourself that you deserve the seat at the table. A greater sense of worth will enable you to not only take action but follow through on your goals with confidence and enthusiasm.
You may be gifted and talented, with the ability to do great things. But you won’t be able to enjoy your accomplishments as long as you feel you’re undeserving of success.
The fraudulent feelings will bring your attention to instances when you fell short and make you second guess yourself at every step of your life journey. With time, you’ll hesitate to take positive action and keep yourself from moving forward and making any progress.
Therefore, you must be proactive and identify the first signs of imposter syndrome to overcome self-doubt and restore your confidence to achieve your goals, find fulfillment in your work and enjoy your success.
About the Author:
Author | Blogger | Success Coach
Motivational writer | Success Coach | Blogger | Author