If you ever have a constant fear of inadequacy or self-doubt at one point in your life, you might be experiencing Imposter Syndrome. Follow these tips to defeat that inner critic trying to convince you that you are not as talented as you may seem and take ownership of your success.
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Imposter Syndrome (IS) can be defined as the internal feelings of believing that you are inadequate or an incompetent failure despite results indicating that you are highly skilled and successful. Imposters owe their successes to luck rather than talents and skills.
Some of the common characteristics of Imposter Syndrome include:
Inability to determine one's skills and competencies
Owing your successes to external factors
According to research, 70% of people experience these imposter feelings at some point in their lives. Erwin attributes the Imposter Syndrome as being related to personality traits like anxiety and neuroticism. While in some cases, it can be attributed to family and behavioral change, especially from a young age when children perceive that to be loved you need to achieve more and show your worth.
In any case, you find yourself trapped in the self-perpetuating cycle of Imposter Syndrome, the following are ways to overcome IS.
1. Acknowledge and share your feelings
Sharing out your feelings accomplishes several goals:
Gaining external insight concerning the situation.
Opening up to those you trust at work encourages those who are experiencing the same to share.
Sharing also makes the problem feel less overwhelming.
It fosters a sense of belonging, where you do not feel like applying pretense to be who you are.
2. Question your thoughts
Your thoughts exist to be challenged in order to determine whether they are self-actualizing thoughts or self-destructive thoughts. In moments of doubt, when low self-esteem cripples you, it is vital to determine whether they are real feelings backed by evidence or not.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others
Different people have different skill sets, including you. That is the reason why organizations hire people with different levels of expertise to fill specific job positions. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and so do you. But the honest truth is, you are in a job position because you actually deserve to be there. Realization of this should make you refrain from taking failures personally, as every failure is an opportunity to learn the skill set which you lack.
4. Use social media moderately
Sometimes while using social media, you might be tempted to showcase an image of yourself that isn't your true self. This may result in an inferiority complex when your actual life doesn't match your social media fancy life, thus you find it hard to adapt to your social environment. In turn, this worsens the feeling of being a fraud.
5. Refuse to let it hold you back
In the midst of a challenge, there are two things that you choose to do:
React to it by allowing it to define you, and confine you in that space.
Revolt against it by refusing to let it weigh you down, and for every challenge that comes your way find effective ways to mitigate them.
In conclusion, success does not require perfection, and in moments of failure, accept when you fall so you can rise again. Identify your strengths and attribute your accomplishments to it. Also, write down your weaknesses and work towards improving them.