10 Practical Steps To Break Away From Imposter Syndrome
If you ever feel like you’re not good enough and someone will find out at any moment, you’re not alone. Imposter syndrome is a common feeling that disturbs our day-to-day lives, making us question our potential. But it’s not an all-lost battle, and you can take some smart steps to overcome it.
Since, in most cases, imposter syndrome gets triggered because of our surroundings, adapting a thoughtful approach to it is inevitable. In this post, I’ll share how imposter syndrome plays in our everyday lives and how to break free from its grip. I’ll also provide some tips I followed for dealing with feelings of self-doubt and leading a confidence-filled life. So if you’re struggling with imposter syndrome, let’s work on it and beat it!
Imposter Syndrome In Our Daily Lives
We’ve all been there. That moment is when we’re called on to do something outside our comfort zone, and we start to doubt ourselves. We wonder if we’re really up to the task. We worry that we’ll be exposed as fraud. This feeling is commonly known as imposter syndrome and can afflict even the most successful people. When I went to UC Berkeley, them putting me in the remedial English class triggered my imposter syndrome, and it took me a long time to get over it.
Imposter syndrome can strike at any time, but it’s prevalent during moments of transition or change. When we’re starting a new job, embarking on a new project, or taking on a new role, we may suddenly find ourselves doubting our ability to succeed. This feeling of being an imposter can be very discouraging, but it’s important to remember that everyone experiences it from time to time. The key is not to let it hold you back from taking risks and reaching your goals. If you find yourself doubting your abilities, try to reframe your thinking. Remind yourself that everyone feels like an imposter sometimes and that you have just as much right to be successful as anyone else.
Defeating Imposter Syndrome In 10 Powerful Steps
Now that we know how this energy-sucking syndrome plays out in our daily lives, how about uprooting it? When I wanted to stop looking down upon my abilities and felt like “this is the time to get a hold of myself,” I followed these powerful steps to bid a farewell to my imposter syndrome:
Honor Your Past- Look Back and Learn
One powerful way to deal with imposter syndrome is to honor your past. Look back at your journey and remember all the times you overcame challenges. Remember how hard you worked and how far you have come. The same was the case with me: seeing my father work as a butcher and then selling fish meat on the weekends wasn’t really uplifting for me. In fact, I used to feel embarrassed and would hide from my friends. But if you don’t repeat this mistake, it will help you to see yourself in a new light and to realize that you are capable of great things. It will also give you the strength to face the future with confidence.
Live On Purpose- No Beating Around The Bush
When we have a clear sense of why we’re doing what we’re doing, it’s harder for the imposter syndrome to take hold. We know that we’re not just going through the motions, that our work has meaning. And when we’re focused on our purpose, we’re less likely to beat ourselves up over small failures. We’re also more likely to persevere in the face of adversity because we know what we’re doing is important. When your imposter syndrome gets bad, take a step back and ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Once you have a clear answer, you’ll be better equipped to beat the imposter syndrome and live a more purposeful life. Look at me; doing a podcast at the age of 53 despite being an introvert all my life and acing it. If I can still have a purpose (not calling myself old here), why would you stop after a certain time? Always have a clear purpose!
That feeling of being an imposter is tough to overcome, but luckily there’s a method that can help. It’s called the G.I.V.E method: Be grateful, intentional, vulnerable, and enthusiastic. Let’s break it down for you:
- Being grateful means acknowledging what you have and what you’ve achieved. Yes, you might not be where you want to be yet, but be thankful for your progress.
- Next is being intentional. This means having a clear purpose and vision for yourself. What do you want to achieve? What kind of person do you want to be? Once you know this, you can start taking steps to make it happen.
- The third part, vulnerability, can be scary, but it’s essential. Vulnerability means being open to feedback and willing to grow and change.
- And finally, enthusiastic. This doesn’t mean faking it until you make it – instead, it’s about pursuing your goals with passion and determination.
If you implement the G.I.V.E rule in your routine life, you can surely get back on track and gain your strength back.
Embrace Your Feelings- Own Them
Another smart way to overcome imposter syndrome is embracing and owning your feelings. Recognize that everyone feels like an imposter sometimes and that your occasional self-doubt does not invalidate your achievements. A good way to do this is to keep a “failure journal.” Every time you have a setback or a moment of self-doubt, write it down. Include what you were trying to do, how you felt in the moment, and what happened. Over time, you’ll be able to look back at your journal and see all of the times you’ve achieved great things despite your fears.
Turn Crap into Fertilizer- Turn Challenges into opportunities
You must’ve heard the saying, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ It’s a catchy phrase, but it’s also good advice – when things go wrong, try to find the silver lining. This is especially true when trying to give imposter syndrome a good beating. The trick is not letting those feelings stop you from doing great things. Instead, use them as motivation to push yourself harder. And if you fail? Well, then you know what they say about failure… it’s just an opportunity to learn and grow. So don’t be afraid to fail – use your failures as fertilizer to help you grow into the person you want to be. I have grown a lot because of diverting all that crap in a positive direction and having a clear look at my goals!
Add and Subtract Baggage – Out with the old and in with the new
Let’s say you’ve just been promoted to a leadership position. You might be feeling that you’re not qualified for the job because of your societal conditioning or inner doubts. To combat this, take a look at your luggage. What skills and experiences do you have that make you qualified for the job? Add them to your list of qualifications – then take a look at what’s holding you back. Are there any old beliefs or self-doubts that are weighing you down? If so, it’s time to let them go and make room for new, more empowering beliefs. I have been labeled shy and reserved almost my whole life, but once I knew it was time to rise above this baggage, I did it. Not that I cut a whole part of my personality, but I learned when to switch it off.
Change Your Self-talk, Write a New Script for Yourself
Another practical tip to suppress and slowly kill imposter syndrome is to change your self-talk. Write a new, more empowering script for yourself, and believe it. For example, instead of telling yourself, “I’m not good enough,” try saying, “I am worthy and competent.” When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself, counter them with your new positive statements. This may take some practice, but eventually, you’ll start to believe the new things you’re telling yourself, and your imposter syndrome will start to fade. “The microwave mentality” doesn’t work out in real life; let things cook on a low flame if you want to savor their flavor.
Run Your Own Race- Don’t Compare
Everyone has a unique journey, and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Embrace your quirks and imperfections, and focus on being the best version of yourself. The fourth step is to take action. Don’t let your fears hold you back from pursuing your dreams. Get out there and show the world what you’re made of. Practicing this will help you rise above your imposter syndrome and live a life that is authentic and fulfilling. It took me 25 years to gather enough skills (or I may say confidence) to become an international speaker because I wasn’t competing with anyone. I had my journey, and I’m still on it – so should you.
Lead With Your Heart- Don’t Hesitate To help Others Unconditionally
Leading with your heart means being authentic and genuine in your interactions with others. It means being vulnerable and sharing your true feelings rather than putting up a false front. When you lead with your heart, you build deep, meaningful relationships based on trust and mutual respect. This could be something as simple as offering to carry their groceries, holding the door open for someone, lending a listening ear, or offering words of encouragement. By reaching out and helping others, you not only make their day a little brighter, but you also remind them that they are not alone in this world – and that is a powerful message indeed. If someone reaches out to you for help, don’t let your negative emotions and judgment stop you – if you’re capable of helping, go ahead with it.
Express Your Authentic Self – Embrace Vulnerability
Being your authentic self can be a real challenge, particularly if you’re struggling with imposter syndrome. The key is to find ways to express your true identity, even if it feels vulnerable. For example, one way to do this is to share your work with others, even if it’s not perfect. Putting yourself out there can be scary, but it’s also an opportunity to connect with others who appreciate your unique perspective. Another way to embrace your authentic self is to be open about your weaknesses and mistakes. We all have them, and admitting them can help you build trust and credibility with others. Most of the time, these fears aren’t as big as we make them; embracing them is the first step to easing them.
Every success feels like luck, and every failure feels like proof that we’re not cut out for the task at hand. This is called imposter syndrome, and it’s a real phenomenon that affects even the most successful people. This syndrome, my friends, can be a powerful force in our lives, convincing us that we’re not good enough and don’t deserve success. But if you acknowledge this challenge and take appropriate measures to eradicate these doubts, you can give imposter syndrome a beating of its life. Implement these steps in your life, keep working towards your goals, and soon a day will come when you’ll stop judging yourself negatively – just like I have. Good luck!