Do you ever feel like you don’t know what you’re doing? Do you feel like you are in way over your depth and someone is going to find out? If so, you’re not alone. This feeling is known as imposter syndrome and almost everyone you’ve met has been there at some point in time or another. The key is not to get caught up in the fact you’re feeling like a failure. Instead, focus on how to get rid of these feelings once and for all. The key? Make a shift in your mindset.
The first thing you need to realize is just how normal this is. A recent Twitter survey discovered 87% of people had experienced Imposter Syndrome at some point or another in their lives. Think about this for a minute.
Recognize That You Can’t Know Everything
If your confidence is shaken by ignorance it’s time to recognize a second important truth: No one knows everything. It takes time to figure things out. If you don’t get something on the first try it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes we all need more knowledge or a healthy amount of practice before we’re confident. Give yourself room to fail and accept it as part of the process.
Fix the Self-Talk
This is probably one of the most challenging aspects of taking back control from Imposter Syndrome. Instead of constantly putting down your efforts or telling yourself you’re an idiot you might want to try something most positive for your inner dialogue. Why not try writing down all the negative things you’re thinking and seeing if you can turn them around into something positive instead? Sure this takes awareness of what you’re thinking but until you can make this a habit it’s crucial to take the time and effort to be more positive in the things you say. Otherwise you’re never going to defeat Imposter Syndrome.
Drop the God Complex
So what if you’re not perfect? Instead of thinking this makes you a failure look at the other end of what this means. Who IS perfect? Imperfection is part of being human (and last we looked, you’re very likely human).
Who Do You Think You Are?
Speaking of high aspirations, consider who else you’re comparing yourself to. Just because someone published a famous novel when they were a teenager doesn’t make this the norm. Thinking you’re a failure for not doing the same is likewise ridiculous. This is another place where correcting your self-talk is crucial to happiness. Remind yourself it doesn’t matter what someone else did. What matters is what you’re doing right now.
One trick I find helpful is to imagine what I would say to a friend in the same situation. Its inevitably much kinder that what I say to myself.
Rename Your Bully
Finally, take back your thoughts and make them your own again. Whenever you have a negative statement come up from your Imposter, call it out as if you’re listening to someone else completely. Try giving this bully a name and talk back to them – “Thank you Sister Mary-Agnes for pointing that out. I’m not going to listen to you”.
Have you found any tricks for managing imposter syndrome in your life?