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Imposter Syndrome: What Is It and How to Overcome It?

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Do you ever feel like you're an imposter? Like you're not really qualified to be doing what you're doing? If so, you're not alone. This phenomenon, known as imposter syndrome, affects people from all walks of life, including some of the most successful people in the world.

The good news is that there are ways to overcome imposter syndrome and learn to love your achievements. Keep reading to learn more about imposter syndrome, its causes, and how to surpass this challenge.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is characterised by a deep-seated feeling of self-doubt and insecurity. Despite evidence to the contrary, people who suffer from imposter syndrome believe that they are frauds and will eventually be exposed. This can lead to negative emotions, including anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

What Causes Imposter Syndrome?

There are a few possible explanations. One is that we live in a culture that values perfectionism and achievement. This can lead us to doubt our accomplishments and feel like we're not good enough.

Another possibility is that we compare ourselves to others. When we see other people who seem to be doing better than us, it can trigger feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.

Lastly, imposter syndrome may be caused by our brain's negativity bias, which means we tend to pay more attention to negative thoughts and experiences than positive ones.

What are the Steps to Overcome Imposter Syndrome?

Many people suffer from imposter syndrome at some point in their lives. If you're not sure what imposter syndrome is, it's the feeling that you're not good enough or will be exposed as a fraud. It can be really debilitating and hold you back from achieving your full potential.

Luckily, you can do a few things to overcome imposter syndrome.

1. Recognise that you're not alone.

Imposter syndrome is pretty common, and many successful people have dealt with it at some point in their lives. Knowing that other people have gone through the same thing can help you feel less alone and more capable of overcoming it.

2. Talk to someone about it.

Sometimes just talking to someone else about your imposter syndrome can help. It can help get another person's perspective on things and realise that your thoughts might not be entirely accurate. If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone about it, there are also online forums where you can anonymously talk to others dealing with the same thing.

3. Take some time for self-reflection.

Often, imposter syndrome is caused by comparing ourselves to others or having unrealistic expectations. If you can take some time to reflect on your accomplishments and what you're realistically capable of, it can help you feel better about yourself.

4. Practice self-compassion.

Beating yourself up is only going to make imposter syndrome worse. Instead, try to practice self-compassion. This means being kind and understanding towards yourself, even when you make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and that's okay.

5. Set small goals and celebrate your accomplishments.

It can be helpful to set small goals for yourself and then celebrate when you accomplish them. This can help you see yourself in a more positive light and feel good about your achievements.

6. Seek professional help.

If imposter syndrome is really affecting your life and you can't seem to overcome it on your own, seeking professional help might be a good idea. A therapist can help you understand your thoughts and feelings and develop a plan to deal with them.

Final Words

Imposter syndrome can be a real challenge, but there are ways to overcome it. If you're struggling with imposter syndrome, try to remember that you're not alone, talk to someone about it, and be kind to yourself. Small steps can make a big difference.

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