Do you Suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

Go beyond your limits2

Impostor syndrome is a psychological condition where people are unable to believe in their successes. Thus, despite the evidence that points to the fact that they are skilled, capable and competent they write this off as temporary – or timing and good luck. Thus, they constantly struggle with feeling like a fraud.

So what are some ways that you can counteract this syndrome?

  1. Admit this is something that you suffer from. When we know we’re not alone, and our symptoms have a name it can help disperse the feelings of anxiety and shame.
  2. Distinguish between facts and feelings. Everyone feels stupid and inept at times. That doesn’t mean we’re stupid. Our feelings aren’t facts.
  3. Don’t demand perfection. It is good to set goals and have high standards for yourself. However, it’s unhealthy to obsess over every little thing. You’ll simply waste a lot of time and never feel quite satisfied.
  4. Take a look at the rules you have imposed upon yourself. Are you saying to yourself: “I have to always get it right”; or ”I should never ask for help”; or “It is bad to make mistakes”? These are misguided rules that undermine your self-esteem. They set you up for failure as they close the door to help.
  5. Change the tapes in your head. Instead of constantly repeating faulty self-destructive thoughts (such as “Wait till they discover just how useless I am”) replace it with a thought that builds esteem and confidence.
  6. Don’t look to others to affirm your success. Don’t look to other people to rate and judge your work. Set your own personal goals, and note the progress you have made.
  7. Fake it till you make it. Almost every individual who succeeds in life has a time when they’re acting, as they don’t feel confident. It means that they’re still learning, and are not afraid to try.

Author:

Certifying coaches and providing specialized online training in addictions, trauma, crisis intervention, relationships, and grief and loss. Visit us at coachingskillsintl.com

5 thoughts on “Do you Suffer from Imposter Syndrome?

  1. I haven’t mentioned this yet as I’ve only been following for two weeks or so now, but you really have a fantastic site. So much useful information. I had never heard of imposter syndrome until reading this, but it was a staple in my life for decades and I think I’m going to write my next blog article about it. I learned early on as a child that it was easy to 1) say and do what you needed to fit people’s ideals and 2) overachieve so people would focus on that and not who you really were. You offered fantastic advise, much of which I’ve implemented in the last few years. The other piece I’d add is to attempt to tell the truth as often as possible. I think when you face the anxiety, potential embarrassment/shame, fear of rejection and worry of abandonment that you’ve internalized that the truth will cause — and then it doesn’t — it helps to be a more authentic self.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to interact and add your thoughts. I love what you say at the end. I think being honest and authentic almost always pays off and enriches both our lives and our relationships. At the end of the day we are all human, and understand struggle!

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  2. Distinguishing feelings from facts is huge. For me it was the revelation that I must choose whether to believe what God says about me in His Word (Bible) or what my emotions would tell me. Since emotions lie and God doesn’t, it’s pretty much a no-brainer – not that it’s always easy. But the more I practice making a conscious choice that way, the easier it gets. And eventually my feelings calm down and become manageable. I can have confidence, not in myself but in God. I may blow it, but He never does. That gives tremendous security and makes it less terrifying to take risks.

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    1. I completely agree. Feelings definitely lie add we carry a lot of wrong beliefs around inside – either because of messages we’ve received our wrong conclusions we have drawn ourselves. Believing the truth is so important, and what God says about us it absolutely true. That is something we can really rest upon.

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