Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? Right before an important meeting or presentation. You have this overwhelming feeling of self-doubt, fear, and anxiety. You immediately start second-guessing your ability to do the job and your experience. Even though you know you are more than capable of handling that meeting and presentation like a boss you are overwhelmed with fear. If you have ever felt these emotions, you might be suffering from imposter syndrome.
What is imposter syndrome? (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Imposter Syndrome has been a silent career killer for years. It has kept the most capable women from speaking up and achieving the careers of their dreams. It may prevent you from speaking up in a meeting or suggesting a new incredible idea to your boss or it scares you into thinking you cannot completely reinvent yourself and change the direction of your career.
If you have ever felt this way or found yourself feeling this way while in a meeting, considering a career change or talking about an exciting new idea then you have possibly suffered from imposter syndrome. And it’s completely normal. Many women deal with it daily but luckily there is a way you can work through imposter syndrome and here’s how you can do it.
Acknowledge your accomplishments
Those that have dealt with imposter syndrome and still deal with imposter syndrome forget how capable and accomplished they are. No matter how many accomplishments they have achieved they never feel it is good enough. They don’t think they are worthy of the success they presently have and the success they can have. Essentially you hold yourself back with the constant second-guessing and self-doubt. To combat this, take a moment a write down everything you have accomplished. For a moment remember who you are and all that you have achieved over the years. By doing this you are allowing yourself to move past the emotions of self-doubt and fear. You are reminding yourself of how capable and accomplished you are. You are training your mind to acknowledge your success and remember you are.
Comparison never works, stop doing it
It’s time to stop comparing yourself to those around you, those on Instagram, and those on a similar path than you. We are all on our road to success. Comparing yourself to others is not fair on yourself. Comparison is never good. It steals joy and excitement. Instead of comparing yourself to those around you spend more time reminding yourself of your successes and why you are on the path that you are on. Remind yourself of your end goal and why you are working so hard to get there.
Visualize your success
Take a moment to visualize your success. Envision yourself completely killing it in that meeting and impressing your boss. Speaking up and voicing your option. Taking on a new client and helping them reach their business goals. Get yourself excited about your success instead of feeling constant self-doubt and fear about it. Visualizing your success beats picturing impending disaster and it will help you move past fear and anxiety.
Fake it until you make it
Now and then we all have to fake it until we make it. Don’t wait until you feel more confident, or more qualified or have more experience. Believe in yourself now and go from there. Change your behavior by believing in yourself and allow your confidence to build around that. Faking it until you make it is a good strategy to have and its something we all employ from time to time in our careers when we feel out of our depth. It’s always an excellent feeling when we accomplish something we never thought we could accomplish. It boosts self-confidence and self-esteem and sometimes faking it until you make it gives you the necessary confidence to move past imposter syndrome. It makes you realize you are more than capable even when you doubt yourself.
Don’t forget that all you have accomplished so far isn’t because you are lucky, it’s because you are more than capable of achieving great success and doing the job. The moment you feel imposter syndrome creeping in, remember who you are and never forget all you have achieved thus far.