Three Tips for Dealing with Impostor Syndrome
I’m not good enough.
I just got lucky.
I’m going to fail.
They’re going to find out I’m a fraud.
I don’t deserve to be successful.
These are just a few statements someone with impostor syndrome might tell themselves.
Impostor syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon, is a collection of intruding feelings of not being as smart or qualified as people think you are — despite having concrete evidence that states otherwise.
With the use of social media steadily rising over the years, self-doubt seems to have become a normal part of our lives. After all, it’s hard to not belittle your success when you have millions of stories of more successful people readily available.
This only makes it easier for you to validate your claims of not being good enough.
The thing is though, even the people we look up to can have these feelings of doubt. In this article by BBC News, the famous Michelle Obama states that she too, struggles with impostor syndrome, and it may never go away.
That’s why it is important to be able to identify these thoughts and learn how to conquer them.
Below are three tips on how to deal with your impostor syndrome, so you can get back on the path towards your success!
Separate facts from feelings
Your mind is powerful. So powerful, it can easily trick you into thinking your negative thoughts are true.
Remember though, you are in control. Your thoughts are strong, but you are stronger.
Take a step back and look at the facts.
Your brain may tell you that you aren’t worthy of success, but why do you believe it?
Remember your previous accomplishments. Remember the positive feedback you’ve received. Write these down, and keep them handy for the times you find yourself having these intruding thoughts.
When you have past successes in mind, it’s harder for your brain to feed into your fears.
Practice just-in-time learning
When you’re struggling with impostor syndrome, you might feel as if you have to be an expert in your field. Of course, you need basic knowledge. But if you wait until you’ve learned every single thing there is to know, you’ll never get started.
Just-in-time learning is the process of learning just what you need to know to continue.
Some things you feel like you need to learn might actually be unnecessary until way further down the line. Don’t get stuck in the learning phase just for the sake of it. Keep yourself in check, and don’t let your fear of failure cause you to procrastinate on your goals.
Start now, before you second guess yourself, and learn as the needs arise.
Think of the worst case scenario
If you have a fear of failure, you’ve probably already thought of the worst case scenario.
Instead of giving into the fear though, you can use it to your own advantage.
Like Nintex CEO, Eric Johnson tells ExecuTalks’ founder, Ash, during their conversation on the podcast:
"I try to think through the realistic worst case. I’ve yet to find a realistic worst case that I couldn’t deal with. Once you know that the worst thing that can happen, you can deal with, then what is there to fear? You work through it."
Plan for the worst possible case, and you’ll realize it’s not as scary as you make it out to be. You might even find that the worst case hardly ever happens.
Impostor syndrome is more common than we may think. You don’t have to suffer in silence because chances are, you know many people who have been in your shoes.
Reach out to others, find a mentor; having a support team on your side will make challenges seem more bearable.
Do you struggle with impostor syndrome? What are some ways that you've learned to overcome your fears?