We all experience moments of self doubt where we feel as if we are not cut out for the endeavor or task we’re working on. But for some, that feeling goes much deeper than a brief moment of internalized fear and doubt. They may feel as if they are a fraud, doubting their abilities and accomplishments. They may struggle from something called “imposter syndrome.”
What exactly is imposter syndrome?
“Imposter syndrome is an inner experience of believing that you are not good enough, not successful enough, or not competent enough. This inner experience often manifests in high-performing women but is found across people of all genders, races, and socio-economic backgrounds,” says Amelia Vogler, grounding expert and energy medicine specialist.
What are some common symptoms of imposter syndrome?
“Individuals with imposter syndrome often exhibit uncontrolled thoughts about not being “good enough” regardless of how “good” (or usually excellent) their performance is. This deep sense of “not good enough” manifests in anxiety and a consistent baseline of self-doubt and identification as a “fraud.” Sometimes, imposter syndrome is masked by tendencies towards perfectionism and tendencies to focus on their mistakes and missteps rather than the successes,” says Vogler.
Here are Amelia’s top 4 tips on how to overcome imposter syndrome:
TIP #1: Introspection
Offer yourself the space to reflect on some of your core beliefs. What were you taught about success? And, is it time to get a new measuring stick? Realizing when old beliefs don’t match with your current goals is a huge step towards overcoming imposter syndrome.
TIP #2: Self Love
As well as you can, offer yourself gifts of self-love. You might start with expressions of kindness and acceptance for areas of your life that are not associated with performance and achievement. These could be affirmations, or short positive statements, such as, “I am so organized!” or, “I am a good, honest friend.” Show yourself some appreciation in whatever way works best for you.
TIP #3: Flip your script
We tell ourselves messages all of the time that can be re-framed to be more gentle and loving. Change “I am going to completely flop this presentation,” to, “This presentation really isn’t about me, it’s about my sharing with people who know less than I do about the subject.”
It’s all about perspective and seeing the bigger picture, which will inevitably make it easier to show yourself some grace.
TIP #4: Seek professional help
If you feel as though your inner critic is getting too loud, or you feel as though you are in a consistent loop of not feeling good enough, it may be helpful to talk to a mental health professional. Counselors and therapists can help you understand what’s going on, put it in perspective, and offer valuable tools for self-growth. Some can even provide guidance on holistic strategies to improve mood and brain health.