Imposter syndrome is tricky. It sneaks up on you when you are faced with a situation or task that requires action or knowledge. Then, when you must act or speak, you freeze. The imposter phenomenon (IP) sets in, and all the confidence you have goes out the window.
Doubt and lack of self-confidence are the ultimate inhibitors of IP. This is even true for CEOs and top-level executives who seem like they’ve got it all together.
Imposter Phenomenon Is the Real Deal
High-achieving women and executives somehow find themselves overperforming their peers yet feeling inferior or hesitant within their position. A study by Dr. Pauline Rose Clance & Dr. Suzanne Imes verified those findings, exploring the different ways imposter syndrome shows up in women via psychoanalysis.
4 Methods for Moving Past Imposter Syndrome
IP is common amongst women and men at all levels of achievement. It can prohibit your career or personal advancement and rob you of your sense of joy and satisfaction.
However, one can learn how to navigate IP. Let’s say it again. It is possible to move past imposter phenomenon. Here’s how you can get over it.
1. Internalize Your Achievements
Sometimes, IP sets in when we fail to internalize our achievements. You may feel like a fraud because it seems like your success does not stack up to someone else’s success. However, are you acknowledging all the “wins” you’ve had? The next time you achieve a goal or receive a compliment, allow yourself to truly believe it.
2. Emotions Do Not Define Success
One of the best ways to get past imposter syndrome is to understand your emotions. How one feels about themselves is (usually) not a good indicator of success. For example, you may feel like a fraud in your industry, but in reality, you’ve done incredible things that could be defined as success. Additionally, learning to view your successes & failures objectively helps decrease IP.
3. Let Go of Perfectionism
No one is perfect. This idea is something we are taught as children, and it remains valid throughout adulthood. While perfectionism can be helpful sometimes, it is not for moving past imposter phenomenon. High-achievers tend to set the bar high. It is great to have high expectations of yourself, but those expectations will not always be met.
Also, stop comparing yourself to others who you believe are “perfect.” This is a counterproductive behavior that will prevent you from getting over IP in the long run. You are perfect in your own way.
4. Build Your Confidence
Confidence beats all. When one is confident in themselves, those imposter syndrome feelings vanish. Practice positive self-talk to build up your confidence. After all, to move past IP, you must believe you are worthy of success and feel like your voice is important. Being kind to yourself and practicing confidence-building will not only ease IP but reduce anxiety as well.
You Can Move Past Imposter Syndrome
Pairing therapeutic practices with a commitment to change, anyone who feels like an imposter will start to believe otherwise. A mindset of, “I am unsure” will be replaced with, “I am intelligent.”
Remember this conversation the next time you feel like a fraud. Whatever the situation may be, you can navigate it better than you may believe.
Consider 2021 as the year you break free of Imposter Phenomenon and enjoy achievements and the joy you deserve. If you need a helping hand to guide you along the way, Demmie Hicks is on standby. FYI, Demmie has a personal journey with IP, and it informs her approach to coaching all of her successful clients.
P.S. A Virtual Imposter Coffee Chat for executive women will be starting in mid-January to explore this interesting mindset. You can register today for free by sending the words “I’m in” to DemmieHicks@dbhconsulting.com.