What is Imposter Syndrome and How to Deal With It

What is the Imposter Syndrome

In short, imposter syndrome is that feeling everyone sometimes gets that they are not working hard enough and the others seem to get things done for real. It is the voice in your head that tells you “You’re not good enough” even when all evidence points to the contrary.

These feelings can be damaging because they make it harder for you to take risks and try new things. They can also make you feel anxious and depressed. However, usually the most hard working, dedicated high achievers suffer from imposter syndrome. Being humble and always striving to improve yourself are actually some of its positive outcomes and are also necessary ingredients for a successful team.

Do you sometimes feel like you’re a fraud, that any moment someone will find out you’re not as smart or talented as they think you are? If so, you’re not alone. Imposter syndrome is a common psychological phenomenon that affects countless people in the business world. But don’t worry – there are steps you can take to overcome it and start feeling more confident in your abilities. Keep reading to learn more.

Imposter Syndrome Specifics

First things first – let’s get into more details about the imposter syndrome “situation”. There are different types of imposter syndrome:

The Perfectionist

The most common one is called the perfectionist imposter syndrome. This is when you feel like you have to be perfect in everything you do or else you’re a failure.

Other signs of the perfectionist imposter syndrome include:

  • The feeling that you’re not good enough unless you’re first or the best
  • Anxiety about taking risks or trying new things
  • A belief that you only got where you are because of luck, not skill
  • Constant self-doubt

The Superwoman/man

The Superwoman/man variety of imposter syndrome is when you feel like you have to do everything and not delegate tasks to anyone. You might feel like you’re not doing enough, even when you’re working around the clock.

Other signs of The Superwoman/man include:

  • Aiming to be perfect in everything
  • Working long hours without taking breaks
  • Saying yes to every request, no matter how difficult it is
  • Putting others’ needs before your own
  • Feeling guilty for leisure time

The Expert

This type of imposter syndrome is common among people who are new to a field or position. You might feel like you’re not as qualified as your peers, even if you have the same or more experience.

Other symptoms include:

  • Doing extensive research before taking any action
  • Second-guessing your decisions
  • Doubting your abilities
  • Feeling like an impostor

The Soloist

The soloist imposter syndrome is when you feel like you have to do everything yourself because you can’t rely on anyone else. This can lead to burnout, as you’re constantly working without any help.

Other symptoms include:

  • Doing everything yourself instead of delegating tasks
  • Refusing help, even when you need it
  • Feeling like you have to know everything
  • Taking on too much work

8 Ways To Beating Imposter Syndrome

If you’re a business owner or CEO, it’s likely that you’ve experienced feelings of imposter syndrome at some point. You may feel like you’re not competent and that someone is going to find out and blame you for this. But don’t worry – there are ways to overcome these feelings and be more successful. Here are 8 tips for beating imposter syndrome.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

First, acknowledge that what you feel and think is OK. Once you recognize that the imposter syndrome condition is normal, it will be easier to start dealing with them.

Talk To Someone You Trust

Talking about your imposter syndrome with someone who understands and supports you can be incredibly helpful. This could be a friend, family member, therapist, or even another person who suffers from imposter syndrome.

Build A Support Network

Another great way to overcome imposter syndrome is to build a supportive network of people you can rely on. This could be fellow students, coworkers, or members of a professional organization.

Focus On Your Accomplishments

It’s important to remember all the times you’ve been successful. Make a list of your accomplishments and refer to it when you’re feeling down about yourself.

Find A Mentor

A mentor can provide invaluableness guidance and support. They can help you navigate difficult situations and give you advice based on their own experiences.

Set Realistic Goals

If you’re constantly setting unrealistic goals for yourself, it’s no wonder you feel like an imposter. Try to set achievable goals that challenge you without overwhelming you.

Take Risks

One of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome is to take risks. This could mean speaking up in a meeting, trying out for a new team, or taking on a new project at work.

Practice Self-Compassion

Beating imposter syndrome is all about being kind to yourself. Practice self-compassion by speaking kindly to yourself, taking breaks when you need them, and giving yourself credit for your accomplishments.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Probably the most straightforward way to overcome imposter syndrome is to pretend to be confident in your performance until you really are. This means acting as if you fully believe in your skills even when you don’t feel it.

Therefore, pretend that you are confident and competent and eventually, you will start to believe it yourself. It might sound like a lot of work but faking it ‘til you make it is a tried and tested method for overcoming imposter syndrome.

Final Thoughts

Imposter syndrome can be debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to overcome its effects and feel more confident in yourself. Remember that you aren’t alone in feeling this way – most people experience some degree of Imposter Syndrome at some point in their lives. And finally, give yourself credit for your accomplishments. You got where you are today because you’re smart and capable, so own it!


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