Written By Katie Thompson
Look, we all get those feelings like we can’t cut it. Like we are an imposter. Like we don’t deserve to succeed or get what we want. It can be so difficult to combat these pesky thoughts, and if we don’t watch out, they can keep us from following our dreams altogether. So, since we now know we are all dealing with this, here are a few ways on how to combat the imposter syndrome.
Focus on providing value
When you feel like you have nothing to give or that none of your ideas are good enough try to focus on just providing value. Don’t worry about being the best; don’t worry about doing it all at once. Just focus on one thing at a time and try to create something that will be of value to someone else. For example, write down some advice that has helped you along your journey. Or, go back and rework something you’ve done in the past to help prove to yourself how much you’ve improved. Just try not to get in your head too much. I promise you do have something worth saying to someone out there.
Keep a file of people saying nice things about you
We can say some pretty mean things to ourselves sometimes. Believe me, I’ve shocked myself how hard I can be on myself. So, when you’re really feeling down, take a look back at some of those glowing reviews or testimonials from your clients. Those kind words can lift your spirits immensely. Keep a running folder of nice things in your Google Docs that you can look back on when you’re feeling low.
Stop comparing yourself to that person
We all have that person in our life (or in our circle) that seems to have it all. They are more successful, they always look great, they never seem to doubt themselves and why should they because everything is going right for them. First off, I can guarantee it isn’t. I know for a fact that that person that seems so perfect has a laundry list of their own problems. However, their pretense in your life, whether in person or over social media can be a huge drain on your self-esteem. Sometimes the best thing to do is just unfollow and give your attention to people who inspire you, not bring you down.
Remember: being wrong doesn’t make you a fake
At every point in our careers, we are going to make mistakes. That is a guarantee, so you might as well get over it. One thing that I can also say for sure is that even if you make mistakes, that doesn’t make you a fraud. Even people with the most experience and expertise are capable of making mistakes, so…if they can do it and still be worthy, so can you.
Realize that nobody knows what they’re doing
Everyone around you in your field might look like they know what they’re doing, but I’ve found that in the end, we’re all still figuring this whole thing out. So moral of the story, never assume, always help each other out and try not to be so hard on yourself.
The imposter syndrome isn’t new, and it’s not all in your mind. Expert on the subject, Dr. Valerie Young, has categorized it into subgroups: the Perfectionist, the Superwoman/man, the Natural Genius, the Soloist, and the Expert. In her book, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From the Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It, Dr. Young builds on decades of research studying fraudulent feelings among high achievers.