Imposter syndrome (Noun) the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills.
We have all had a moment of doubt in our abilities where we feel unsure of if we are any good at what we do, whether it is in your professional or our personal lives. It's not a nice feeling, so what do you do to overcome it? We have put together some ideas for you to try the next time that imposter devil comes knocking at your door.
- Recognise imposter syndrome. As soon as you admit to yourself that this is truly how you are feeling and not just having a bad day, you enable yourself to tackle how you feel. Sometimes giving a name to how you are feeling is just as good as a cure.
- Ask for validation. Vocalising your worries to someone you trust is a great way to not only get how you are feeling off your chest, but a good confidant will also help to boost your confidence back up again. Don’t worry about feeling embarrassed or ashamed, chances are that they have felt the same way at some point.
- Talk, talk, talk. We are all feeling pretty isolated at the moment which can impact our confidence greatly. If you are alone you run the risk of getting stuck with the thoughts in your head and can lead to depression which is the last thing you need when you are having a crisis of faith. Set up a zoom call or phone a friend just to talk nonsense if you want to. We are designed to be social creatures, so try to avoid hiding away.
- Make a list. It is easy to forget our achievements, successes and capabilities, by putting them down on paper you will have physical proof of how great you are. Keep that piece of paper to look at every time you feel this way and remind yourself daily that you are amazing!
- Ask for testimonials from customers. This may sound slightly strange, but when you feel unsure about yourself, asking for a customer to give you feedback on the great job you do, will instantly boost your confidence. Every business will benefit from having good feedback, so it is a practical thing to do anyway. As soon as those testimonials start coming though it will help no end with your confidence. Be sure to share them to your social media and website. Let everyone know.
- Know that you aren’t the only one. We are so lucky that the internet has given us an abundance of reference materials. The saying forewarned is forearmed so do some research into imposter syndrome. It will help you to recognise how you are feeling and will help you overcome this bad patch.
- Connect with others. Join a forum or networking group. Particularly in your professional life, joining in with a group will help you to learn from others. Not only will it give you that crucial social interaction, but it will also enable you to share your fears and worries without fear of embarrassment.
- Take a day off. Having a proper break from work does the world of good. Turn the laptop off, switch your phone to silent and have a 'me' day. If your imposter syndrome is personal, then do something to change up your routine. For example, if you are experiencing a day where you have doubts regarding your parenting skills, then go out for the day. You may be homeschooling every day, as well as trying to work and keep on top of the chores; take a break. Go to the park and feed the ducks or go for a nice walk. Breaking the monotony is essential for you as well as your family’s mental health. That pile of washing can wait!
- Are you a perfectionist? If you suffer from imposter syndrome, is this because you constantly strive for perfection? Absolutely no-one is perfect, no-one is expected to be perfect. Try to realise that it's probably only you which is putting this level of pressure on yourself. Try to take a step back from the situation and spend some time letting go of the unimportant things. You will feel so much better for giving yourself a break.
- Give yourself a reality check. Yes, this does mean having a stern talking to yourself. Tell those voices in your head to get lost because YOU GOT THIS!!!!
Written By Sarah English – Write Idea 11 January 2021