If you’ve ever felt not “good enough” or “worthy” enough to do what you want to do or be who you know you can be, this article is for you. If you’ve every felt like everyone in the world knows you aren’t qualified to do what your heart tells you to do, you are in the right place. If you are one of those high achieving people who never feel like you’ve done enough, yep, I got ya. Welcome to Imposter Syndrome – the feeling of being a fraud regardless of how much you have accomplished or how capable you are.
I started this website to inspire and educate others. My heart’s desire for the past 20 plus years has been to help others realize they can have the life of their dreams, they can work through life challenges and transitions and get back to being the strong and competent individuals they were destined to be. They can change the world if that’s what they want to do. And while I’ve attempted to pursue this endeavor many times, I constantly feel unqualified and not “enough” to even share my experiences. This lack of confidence is the complete opposite of who I am professionally so it’s been weird to experience.
The truth is, I’ve been dealing with Imposter Syndrome. Creating this website, writing this blog is the result of me faking it till I make it, so to speak. It has been the outcome of what I believe in the depths of my soul when I’m not second-guessing my thoughts, fearing failure, feeling like an imposter, or otherwise self-sabotaging my potential results. This blog is me, getting over my own imposter syndrome.
What is Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome is alive and well. It’s that feeling that predominately overcomes high achieving individuals and they think one day everyone is going to realize just how incompetent they really are. While everyone else is telling you how amazing you are, on the inside, you are both motivated and puzzled by their faith in your abilities. While I felt very capable in my professional career, helping others on a personal level made me feel like a fraud – as if I had completely figured out life and now was here to show you the way. As it turns out, some of the characteristics of imposter syndrome include:
- Picking about your own performance
- Fear you won’t meet expectations
- Unrealistic goal setting
- An inability or unwillingness to accurately assess your own competence
My favorite characteristic is sabotaging your own success. It’s an overwhelming and constant feeling of “who am I to be doing this?”
You might want to check out this post if you struggling with taking that step in the direction of your dreams.
If you’ve been waiting . . . .for something (or someone) to motivate you to get off your butt and do the things you really want to do, I’ve got an article for you! If you’ve been living in a perpetual state of complacency with no movement, it’s time to start moving. And if you’ve…
So, how did I get over this feeling and actually launch this website?
Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get to it.
Tips to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Once I realized what was happening, I started by seeing a therapist just to make sure I wasn’t crazy. I recommend everyone start there.
I’ve done a lot of research on this topic (overachieving much?) and continue to have to make conscious choices in my life to keep me on track. Here are just a few tips that I hope will help you.
1. Find someone you can talk openly with who will be honest with you.
I have some friends who just tell me what they think I want to hear. This is not helpful. Find someone that will be honest with you. Ideally, this would be a person that is confident and knows your capabilities. More importantly, they aren’t afraid to give you open and honest feedback, hold you accountable, and call you on your BS. Be honest with them and tell them your struggles with feeling like an imposter and ask them to check you on it. This is a very difficult step because it feels like you are asking for someone to stroke your ego. And it requires vulnerability. But it isn’t about stroking your ego. It’s about wanting to be honest with yourself regarding both your strengths and opportunities for improvement.
Related Article: Self-Awareness at Work: Tips to Increase Self-Awareness
2. Limit time on social media
Social Media is, in my opinion, one of the greatest contributors to Imposter Syndrome. Whether it’s creativity, weight loss, accomplishments, looks, or artistic expression, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Unfortunately, we don’t even know for sure if those “others” are being honest, using filters, editing, or just making things up. This constant comparison exacerbates the feelings of Imposter Syndrome. “They’ve got 50,000 followers, I have 5 – OMG, I’m such a fraud.” By constantly comparing yourself to others, you’ll never feel good enough.
Related Article: 10 Tips to Overcome Self-Doubt
Limit your time and have more realistic expectations regarding your social media experiences. Do YOU and quit comparing yourself to others.
3. Fill Your Mind With Good Stuff
Fill your mind and life with growth experiences and positivity. One of the many things I have done is continuously read books, blogs, etc. that move my life in a positive direction. I fill my mind each and every day with information that moves me forward and doesn’t allow me to wallow in fear and self-doubt. Even if it’s just a paragraph of content, I know it pushes me a little in the direction I want to go.
4. Level Set Your Expectations
I’ve got great examples on this one. Being an overachiever, I’d set goals of having 1,000 views in the first 30 days because I saw some YouTube video where someone else was able to do that. When the goal wasn’t realized in spite of my 50 IG posts and FB posts and who knows what else, I’d get discouraged and think I obviously wasn’t any good at this.
Now I have different expectations. If I get one new follower a week, I’m thrilled. And if my traffic increases each month by even 5 views, I feel like I’m on the right track. This is because my goal changed. I realized if I helped even one person then my mission was accomplished. And hey, if I helped 50, better yet. When the goal is helping others be successful, even helping one is a worthy endeavor. You never know if that one person you helped will go on to change the world in a significant way.
Sure, I’d love to be able to support myself someday with this blog but I have other skills too and while my approach may not resonate with everyone, surely it will resonate with someone.
This tip ties back to the social media tip. When we are comparing ourselves to others, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We should set goals and expectations that make sense for us, our situation, and our life purpose.
5. Fake It Till You Make It
Don’t let your imposter syndrome stop you from pursuing what you feel is a worthy endeavor. There are still days I don’t feel qualified to write this content. I do it anyway. Keep moving forward in spite of your feelings of inadequacy. Keep working on yourself, learning what works and what doesn’t, asking for feedback, level setting your expectations, and moving forward . . .even when you feel incompetent to do so. You’ll find your confidence increasing with time and one day, the realization that you are more than enough.
Related Article: Finding My Voice