Imposter syndrome occurs when we feel we don’t deserve any credit for our achievements. It makes us doubt our abilities and the legitimacy of our qualifications. If we are suffering from imposter syndrome, we cannot enjoy or take pride in our success. We chalk up our accomplishments to sheer luck or timing and fear someone may expose us as a fake.
Imposter syndrome may all be in our heads. That is not to say it isn’t real! Experts believe that about 70% of people experience this feeling at least once in their lives. However, we can keep it at bay using some helpful techniques below.
1. Taking on new challenges
It can be daunting to take on new challenges when we are already uncertain of our abilities. However, taking on new and unique jobs can be an excellent learning experience. Plus, accomplishing them would give a massive boost to our self-confidence.
2. Keeping a personal journal
Recording our success, achievements, and positive compliments in written form can help us if we suffer from imposter syndrome. By having a journal or diary for documenting our accomplishments, we will have a solid metric for tracking our progress. Whenever doubts start to creep in, a glance at our achievements would give us an instant confidence boost.
3. Speaking encouraging words
If a part of our mind tells us we are not good enough, we should counter it by telling ourselves that we ARE. By self-speaking about our positives—even if we don’t believe in them—we will quell any depressing or discouraging thoughts. With time and enough self-encouragement, we will train our subconscious to pay more attention to the positive thoughts.
4. Acting confident even if we aren’t
It’s not always possible to build confidence in a short time. Say we have to give a speech or a presentation. These things require confidence on the part of the speaker. However, there is no need to be confident, as long as we can act confident. By acting confident enough times, we can slowly build up our actual self-confidence. Eventually, we would no longer need to act.
5. Knowing all high achievers feel this way
If we feel like an imposter, we should take solace in that we are not alone. What’s even more reassuring is that all highly accomplished people think this way too. Instead of thinking of the imposter syndrome as a weakness, we should take it as proof that we are destined for great things.
6. Differentiating it from modesty
Modesty is a desirable trait. It shows that our success hasn’t gone to our heads. However, we should focus on showing modesty instead of feeling it. By constantly downplaying our achievements, we start belittling them for ourselves. Sure, we should show modesty and gratitude, but we should also learn to take pride in what we have accomplished.
7. Checking if the thoughts have any base
While feelings of being a fraud can be overwhelming at times, they rarely have any factual basis. Whenever we feel like an imposter, we should immediately search for the evidence behind those thoughts. This way, we can get a clear distinction between facts and emotions.