Do you ever feel like a fraud, or at any moment you are going to be found out —like you don’t belong where you are, and you only got there through luck?
If you can relate to those feelings of self-doubt, you’ve probably experienced imposter syndrome.
You’re not alone – studies suggest 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their career.
Overall, imposter syndrome stems from believing that you are less competent than other people think you are. Instead of attributing your success to your skills, you might downplay your success and attribute it to luck.
Here are signs you might be suffering from imposter syndrome:
* Perfectionism. Because your goal is perfection, the smallest mistakes may make you feel like a failure. You may set high goals for yourself and it can never feel like “enough.”
* Attribute success to luck. You downplay your success because you do not believe you deserve the success, or you believe you are just lucky.
* Unable to recognize success. Instead of celebrating your accomplishments, you worry that others will see “the truth” about your skills and abilities.
* Feeling like a fraud. Because you are aware of your weaknesses and flaws, you may achieve great success and be disappointed when you don’t feel like a success.
* Difficulty asking for help. You might have difficulty asking for help because you believe asking for help will show that you’re wrong or unqualified.
Do you relate to any of these patterns?
Experiencing imposter syndrome can limit your confidence to go after new opportunities because you feel that you do not deserve it.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to give yourself more credit and start overcoming those feelings of self-doubt.
Here are 6 Steps to Overcome Imposter Syndrome:
- Acknowledge imposter feelings. Recognize when you start feeling like an imposter. Instead of engaging with your thoughts of self-doubt, acknowledge that it is a normal response.
- Accept that it’s okay to make mistakes. Instead of fearing failure, develop a healthy response to making mistakes. Accept that it’s normal to make mistakes and learn from each mistake instead. Practice being honest when you feel imperfect, embarrassed, or have made a mistake. Hint: You’re not supposed to be perfect or have it all figured out.
- Understand the root of the cause. Why do you think you feel like a fraud? Do you believe that you don’t deserve success? Do you never feel “good enough”?
- Focus on facts, not feelings. When you start feeling like a fraud, focus on positive facts. For example, maybe you were chosen for a job interview because of your qualifications. Claim responsibility for your accomplishments.
- Reframe your thoughts. Instead of telling yourself that you don’t deserve success, reframe your thoughts to give yourself more credit and enjoy the experience. Look for evidence to prove why you belong. Say “thank you” when you receive a compliment. Share and celebrate your achievements and successes.
- Reach out for support. Most people don’t talk about it. Part of the experience is that you’re afraid of being found out. Having a safe space to receive support will help you reduce feelings of being an imposter.
Imposter syndrome can make you feel like you’re not good enough, you don’t belong, or you are a fraud. But it’s important to remind yourself that learning and making mistakes do not make you a fraud – it makes you human. Instead of doubting yourself, take the above steps to build your self-esteem and self-worth.
1. Does feeling fraudulent help or hinder you?
2. What are you most proud of?
You deserve success.