Although both knowledge and experience may back up your professional endeavors, you may still feel like “the world is going to find you out,” at some point. Don’t let impostor syndrome get the best of you!
After all, there are still so many things you don’t know.
Consider these high achievers: Maya Angelou, Kate Winslett, Dr. Chan (Chief of the World Health Organization), and Tina Fey. Each one attempting to make a positive impact on the world in their own way.
And, they’ve each battled impostor syndrome.
It’s strangely comforting to know that even incredibly successful people feel like a fraud sometimes.
Clearly, overcoming this notorious feeling of fakeness or unworthiness isn’t reserved for a certain group or type.
It can impact anyone. Here’s how to conquer it.
Commit to Bringing Value to Others
When you feel like a fraud, refocus on the value you bring to other people.
Often there’s a tug-of-war between sincerity and presenting your best self. This is where impostor syndrome makes its home.
Rather than focusing on how you can influence your image, direct your attention to the good you offer to the world.
Internalize Your Success
Impostor syndrome can creep in when you don’t feel like you deserve success.
Someone somewhere in the world likely does what you do. And they do it better. So why are you the one with the wins?
Battle these thoughts by acknowledging that you had a hand in your success.
Maybe you did get all the right breaks. Still, you stayed the path and here you are. So own your success.
Keep a Running List of Your Wins
Famous authors, scientists, and even doctors make a habit of recording their wins.
During times when they feel doubtful about their skills or about themselves in general, they review the list.
When you follow this strategy, the positive impact you’ve made drowns out the doubtful thoughts. It’s hard to argue with history.
View Your Endeavor as a Business
Have you ever thought that one wrong move will do you in?
Remember, being wrong doesn’t make you a fake. It’s all about perspective.
For example, if impostor syndrome has you frozen, think of your efforts as a marketing test. Not your heart and soul (and credibility) on the line.
Should your plan flop, try something else. Doing so will help to keep your focus on serving others.
Stay Devoted to Honesty
No one can know everything about everything. However, you may be assigned the title of “expert.” So people may expect a great deal from you.
When you’re put in a position where you could fabricate information simply to save the “expert” face, don’t.
Be honest instead. Say what you can about what you do know.
Adopt the “When in Rome” Concept
Being authentic means playing yourself in unique roles throughout life.
For example, you don’t speak to your mother the same way that you speak with your partner.
Accept that when you are in Rome, you behave like a Roman. In other words, being authentic means interacting differently with everyone in your life.
Expose Your Fears to a Confidante
When you feel like a fraud, find a trustworthy friend with whom you can share your feelings.
Most likely, they’ll offer a kind chuckle and admit to feeling the same thing.
We’re all human and we all struggle with the idea of being “real” or authentic. Often, sharing your fears out loud can swing your emotional pendulum back to center.
Take the first step…
If you’re struggling with impostor syndrome, and you’re ready to take the next step toward resolving those issues, I would like to help. Please contact me via phone or email so we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda K. Laffey, MFT