Roy and Amy | Clark Coaching and Counseling

How to Overcome impostor Syndrome

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Impostor syndrome is characterized by an inability to believe that one’s success is deserved, despite the effort and energy put into achieving the outcome.

The syndrome is linked to low self-confidence, self-doubt, and feelings of intellectual fraud, and increased levels of stress and anxiety.

While it can be hard to uproot the mindset that contributes to impostor syndrome, you can take some actions to help you overcome it.

Positive Self-Talk

Self-talk can be described as the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. It is the thoughts and phrases we think or say that reinforce positive or negative things about us. Positive self-talk is that which demonstrates self-compassion and understanding for who we are and what we have experienced.

Thus, we can make our internal narrative a positive one that encourages us, uplifts us, and reinforces our intellect and abilities. For some, this comes naturally, but for most people, we must build this skill intentionally with practice and effort.

Using positive affirmations to change the internal dialogue from one that is negative and discouraging to one that is uplifting and encouraging can help uproot the thinking that contributes to impostor syndrome.

Growth Mindset

A growth mindset believes that we can grow in our capabilities, intelligence, and talents over time. A growth mindset works against impostor syndrome because even if there is a belief that one is not “enough” in a particular moment, a growth mindset speaks to the idea that one can increase and become “enough” at any given time.

Thus, one is not stuck to their present level of knowledge or skill but can increase in knowledge and skill with effort. This mindset can lead to enhanced confidence and success levels because individuals with this mindset are geared more towards self-improvement. People with a growth mindset are more resilient when faced with challenges and failures.

Rather than proof of their incompetence, these failures become viewed as opportunities for growth.

Stop Comparison

Comparing yourself to others can cause impostor syndrome to grow in its severity. When we look around and see other people’s success, it can wrongfully reinforce the idea that other people have worked hard for and are worthy of their success, while we are not. Or even worse, we believe their success came easy to them and wonder why it doesn’t for us.

Using other people as a measuring board for our success, accomplishments, or intellect is not healthy. It can increase self-doubt and low self-esteem that allows impostor syndrome to fester.