5 Ways to Unmask Imposter Syndrome

May 30, 2019





Impostor Syndrome is characterized by the conviction that you don't deserve your success. It is the feeling that you're not as intelligent, creative or talented as other people seem to believe you are. It is the suspicion that your achievements are down to luck, good timing or just being in the right place at the right time. And it is accompanied by the fear that, one day, you'll be exposed as a fraud.


Impostor Syndrome can be linked to other feelings of self-doubt, such as fear of success, fear of failure and self-sabotage. It often strikes at times that others might associate with success: starting a new job, receiving an award or promotion, or taking on extra responsibility such as teaching others, starting your own business, or becoming a first-time parent.

The Imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. 


If you recognize any of the symptoms described below, there is a good chance that you are also experiencing Impostor Syndrome.

  • Feelings of inadequacy and frequent self-doubt.

  • Thoughts of "I'm not worthy," or "I don't deserve this."

  • Worrying that you can't live up to others' expectations.

  • Focusing on your mistakes rather than on your achievements.

  • Exhibiting perfectionist tendencies.

  • Thinking that your job is so easy that anyone could do it.

  • Thinking that your talents and strengths are common or unremarkable.

  • Believing that what you do is never enough.

  • Believing that if you were to start over, you wouldn't have the luck, talent or skills to replicate your current success.



And it can be debilitating, causing stress, anxiety, low self confidence, shame and in some cases, even depression. 

Recognizing that you have Impostor Syndrome is often the hardest part. Many people believe that the alternative is to become boastful and self-important, but this needn't be the case.



Here are some tips for beating it:



1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

The first step in overcoming Impostor Syndrome is to acknowledge what you're feeling, and why.

Start by keeping a journal. Whenever you experience feelings of self-doubt or inadequacy, write them down, and explain why you're feeling this way. Be as specific as possible about each situation. The chances are that when you write it out, you'll see that you shouldn't worry about the situation.


At the end of the day, remember this: You are here for a reason. In this job, your business, your life, you are worthy. You are better than you think you are. You are smarter than you think you are. You know more than you give yourself credit for. Remember that. Remind yourself as often as you need to.


Imagine yourself telling all the people you think you have fooled about how you tricked them. 

How would they respond? Most likely they would tell you that they didn't give you a good grade/promotion/award because you charmed them. 

They might even be annoyed that you doubt their professional judgment.


Remember, feelings are not reality. So, just because you feel unqualified doesn't mean you actually are. Be aware of the automatic thoughts and feelings you have, and work on countering those with reality-based statements, such as, "I am qualified for this task because…"




2. Talk to Others

Reach out and talk to people you trust. You might be surprised by how many of your friends and colleagues can relate to how you feel. Listen to the people in your life and let them reassure you that your fears are irrational.




3. Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses


Build up your confidence by becoming more aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Conduct a Personal SWOT Analysis or use the StrengthsFinder assessment to discover what you're best at, and to think about how you can minimize your weaknesses.

Once you have a deep understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, you won't have to spend so much time worrying that you're not "qualified" for a particular task, project or role.



4. Overcome Perfectionism

Many people who experience Impostor Syndrome are perfectionists. They set themselves unreasonably high goals, and then feel shame or disappointment when they fail.

Learn how to set yourself realistic, challenging and achievable goals with SMART goals, and accept honest failures as a part of life. Instead of seeing your mistakes as something to be ashamed of, treat them as learning experiences that will help you perform even better next time.



5. Own Your Successes

Often, people with Impostor Syndrome find it hard to accept compliments. When things go well, they attribute their success to external factors such as hard work, help from others, or good fortune. But when things go wrong, they blame themselves.

Take responsibility for your achievements. When you meet a goal or finish an important project, acknowledge that it was your skill and talent that made it happen.

Keep a record of positive feedback. Practice listening to praise, taking in the compliment, and drawing nourishment from it. Write down why your negative thoughts are false or meaningless, and explain why you are qualified or worthy enough for this job.



No matter the specific profile, if you struggle with confidence, you’re far from alone. 








In as little as ONE SESSION we will uncover the root cause of your self-doubt. We will remove and replace the negative beliefs with new, positive thought patterns. 


When we re-script your automatic thought patterns using RTT, we are able to create PERMANENT, LIFE CHANGING RESULTS.


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