How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Impostor syndrome is characterized by an inability to believe that one's success is deserved, despite the effort and energy put into achieving the outcome.
The syndrome is linked to low self-confidence, self-doubt, feelings of intellectual fraud, and increased stress and anxiety levels.
While it can be hard to uproot the mindset that contributes to impostor syndrome, you can take some actions to help you overcome it.
Self-talk can be described as the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. It is the thoughts and phrases we think or say that reinforce positive or negative things about us. Positive self-talk is that which demonstrates self-compassion and understanding for who we are and what we have experienced.
Thus, we can make our internal narrative positive, encouraging us, uplifting us, and reinforcing our intellect and abilities. For some, this comes naturally, but we must build this skill intentionally with practice and effort for most people.
Using positive affirmations to change the internal dialogue from negative and discouraging to uplifting and encouraging can help uproot the thinking that contributes to impostor syndrome.
A growth mindset believes that we can grow in our capabilities, intelligence, and talents over time. A growth mindset works against impostor syndrome because even if there is a belief that one is not “enough” in a particular moment, a growth mindset speaks to the idea that one can increase and become “enough” at any given time.
Thus, one is not stuck to their present level of knowledge or skill but can increase in knowledge and skill with effort. This mindset can lead to enhanced confidence and success levels because individuals with this mindset are geared more towards self-improvement. People with a growth mindset are more resilient when faced with challenges and failures.
Rather than proof of their incompetency, these failures become viewed as opportunities for growth.
Comparing yourself to others can cause impostor syndrome to grow in its severity. When we look around and see other people's success, it can wrongfully reinforce the idea that other people have worked hard for and are worthy of their success, while we are not.
Using other people as a measuring board for our success, accomplishments, or intellect is not healthy. Instead, it can increase self-doubt and low self-esteem that allows impostor syndrome to fester.
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