8 Effective Ways to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
As a full-time consultant and content creator who loves to hustle, I often set huge goals for myself… but sometimes I feel myself hesitating or seconding guess myself. Sound familiar? The ability to overcome imposter syndrome is tricky habit to cultivate. It’s crazy that so many of us can feel like frauds in our own domain expertise. Today, we’re going to tear that thought process down! Read on for the 8 most effective ways to overcome imposter syndrome.
1 | You’ve had success – own it!
One of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome is to draw from previous personal success.
We’ve all had our moments of glory… maybe we won a debate in college, dropped 20 lbs of body fat, or got a huge promotion at work. These are the moments of triumph that have signaled to you that you ARE truly amazing.
You can do anything you put your mind to… you’ve done it before 😉
A great way to memorialize this is to actually write down your successes in a notebook. I write down my celebrations / successes every year and get to look back on them several times during the year. It may even be helpful to practice writing down successes every month!
To overcome imposter syndrome, often all we need to do is stare it in the face and show it real, hard proof.
Sometimes we need to give ourselves that pat on the back to realize that we are enough! We have everything we need in order to succeed.
2 | Absorb more knowledge
At times, imposter syndrome rears its ugly head when we feel like we “half-know” everything. There are times where we have most of the know-how and the will to accomplish something, but we hold back because we don’t feel like experts yet.
For me, in moments where I feel a lack of knowledge, I take a day or a few hours to study. I study the subject, field, or company to know exactly what it looks like. I might read a book on it, listen to a podcast, or grab coffee with an expert.
I’ve found that when we can hit the pause button to sharpen our axes and just learn a little bit more, it can be the edge we need to feel fully prepared and invincible.
3 | Write yourself a love note
This has to be my favorite way to overcome imposter syndrome. In reality, each of us has everything we need within us to accomplish any task we need to…
Let’s be honest, we’re all hustlers here 😉
That being said, if you’re like me, there are times when you forget how freaking awesome you are. Isn’t that insane?
So, when you feel that wave of sadness or defeat coming in, open a blank Google doc and write for 5 full minutes. Tell yourself how amazing you are. Talk about the things you love about yourself. Don’t be shy! I want you to write a full-on, mushy-gushy love letter to yourself and make yourself feel awe-inspiring. (My love notes usually turn into bulleted lists with all of my fairest qualities.)
Once you’ve written for 5 minutes straight, read through this list or note and let yourself feel amazed. Because, oh-my-goodness, YES. That beautiful, radiant, fierce creature is YOU.
Psst… I have a secret for you…
If you can take only one thing away from this post on how to overcome imposter syndrome, #3 is what I want you to remember. Do this, and in 5 minutes, Mr. Imposter Syndrome is history.
4 | Talk to people who’ve done it before
Still feeling like you need more? Maybe you’ve tried 1-3 in the past and need some fresh material. A great way to overcome imposter syndrome is to talk to someone who has already accomplished what you want to accomplish.
This is a solid cheat code when trying anything new, unfamiliar or daunting. Talk to the person who is 2-5 years ahead of you who has already done it!
Find this person, take them out to coffee and ask them questions. Ask how they felt during the process. Ask them what do they know now that they wish they knew before. Ask them what is the best piece of advice they can give you.
Overcoming imposter syndrome for some people just means knowing if you’re on the right track! Being able to check in on that can be super valuable and help you break out of that feeling of “fraud.”
5 | Don’t compare yourself
Piggy backing on #4, although you may get advice from someone who’s gone through what you’re going through, it’s never fair to compare yourself to that person. Or any person for that matter.
Using someone as a measuring stick is a great way to get stuck in the realm of imposter syndrome. NOT the way to overcome imposter syndrome.
We are all on our own magical journeys and some have more bumps on the road than others. Some journeys have extra peaks and some have extra valleys. We need to realize that and know that it’s going to leave us a bit stronger and wiser in the end.
So, stop the comparing. It’s too exhausting anyway.
6 | Focus on providing value
Sometimes to get past the crippling feeling of imposter syndrome, we just have to take the spotlight off of ourselves and put it on other people.
So, what does that mean?
When I implement this, I focus on doing everything in my power to add value to the people I’m around. I brainstorm new ways I can make my clients’ lives easier. I think about how my services can feel like 10x compared my competitors and then implement strategies to wow my clients.
In the midst of all of this, I suddenly realize that I’ve overcome imposter syndrome!! Sometimes we are just so consumed in how we feel in a situation that it stunts us from reaching our full potential in a project, situation, or challenge.
Maybe the best way to move past that is to simply dive in and focus on providing the best value possible.
Every time I do that, somehow the feeling of being an imposter just melts away!
7 | Keep a running list of compliments
Remember the love notes we wrote to ourselves in #3? Well now it’s time to make a list of love notes people have given to us!
Overcoming imposter syndrome doesn’t have to happen all by yourself, you can take advantage of the people around you too.
I love getting compliments. (Don’t we all?) They make us feel amazing!
So, why not let that feeling stretch out?
Open another document and paste in compliments people have sent you or said to you. You can note them down when they happen or at the end of a day. Soon enough, you’ll have pages of good things that people have said about you that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
Now, when you feel imposter syndrome creeping in, you can break out the Compliment List and read through it to feel those warm fuzzies all over again. It’s the best feeling ever!
8 | It’s NOT luck.
My last tip for you to overcome imposter syndrome is to remember, your accomplishments and where you are in life is in NO way due to luck. You found a way to make it here. YOU did it.
Today, I live an amazing life where I get to choose exactly who to work with and when. I can design my days to fit what I feel like that day and take spontaneous vacations to Mexico if I want.
People look at my lifestyle and sometimes say, “Wow, you’re so lucky!”
I used to just laugh and brush it off.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this life was not a result of “luck” at all! For me, this was a huge breakthrough to help me overcome imposter syndrome…
I did not one day wake up and win the lifestyle lottery to have the ability #WorkFromAnywhere. I worked for it! I had long days of work and back-to-back days of biz dev meetings. I worked for what I accomplished…. And remember, you have too!
You’ve stayed those extra hours at the office. You’ve gone the extra mile to pitch in and help the team. You’ve put in the work.
And – if you’ve done it once, you can do it again!
Oh no, no, you’re not an imposter at all. You didn’t end up here accidentally. You worked your way up here. You fought challenges, you overcame obstacles, and you tackled beasts.
My dear friend, you’re SO far from the word imposter.
You’re on a different planet than “imposter.”
YOU ARE A LIFE-AFFIRMING, GOAL-DIGGING, DREAM-CHASING BOSS!