Impostor syndrome is the internal psychological experience of feeling like a phony in some area of your life, despite any success that you have achieved in that area.You might have imposter syndrome if you find yourself consistently experiencing self-doubt, even in areas where you typically excel.Imposter syndrome may feel like restlessness and nervousness, and it may manifest as negative self-talk. Symptoms of anxiety and depression often accompany imposter syndrome.
Types of Imposter Syndrome
Coping With Imposter Syndrome
To move past these feelings, you need to become comfortable confronting some of the deeply ingrained beliefs you hold about yourself. This exercise can be hard because you might not even realize that you hold them, but here are some techniques you can use:
-Share your feelings. Talk to other people about how you are feeling. Irrational beliefs tend to fester when they are hidden and not talked about.
-Focus on others. While this might feel counterintuitive, try to help others in the same situation as you. If you see someone who seems awkward or alone, ask them a question to bring them into the group. As you practice your skills, you will build confidence in your own abilities.
-Assess your abilities. If you have long-held beliefs about your incompetence in social and performance situations, make a realistic assessment of your abilities. Write down your accomplishments and what you are good at, then compare these with your self-assessment.
-Take baby steps. Don't focus on doing things perfectly, but rather, do things reasonably well and reward yourself for taking action. For example, in a group conversation, offer an opinion or share a story about yourself.
-Question your thoughts. As you start to assess your abilities and take baby steps, question whether your thoughts are rational. Does it make sense to believe that you are a fraud given everything that you know?
-Stop comparing. Every time you compare yourself to others in a social situation, you will find some fault with yourself that fuels the feeling of not being good enough or not belonging. Instead, during conversations, focus on listening to what the other person is saying. Be genuinely interested in learning more.
-Use social media moderately. We know that the overuse of social media may be related to feelings of inferiority. If you try to portray an image on social media that doesn't match who you really are or that is impossible to achieve, it will only make your feelings of being a fraud worse.
-Stop fighting your feelings. Don't fight the feelings of not belonging. Instead, try to lean into them and accept them. It's only when you acknowledge these feelings that you can start to unravel the core beliefs that are holding you back.
-Refuse to let it hold you back. No matter how much you feel like you are a fraud or that you don't belong, don't let that stop you from pursuing your goals. Keep going and refuse to be stopped.