How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome and Live Your Best Life

overcome imposter syndrom

I’m not surprised you want to overcome imposter syndrome.

It’s an insidious feeling. It creeps in and poisons any positivity you felt after you achieved something good.


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It’s that little voice that tells you that you’re a fraud, you’re not really that good, and everyone else will find out soon enough.

It’s estimated that 70% of people suffer from imposter syndrome.

Even high achievers like actresses Kate Winslet and Tina Fey, and author Neil Gaiman, have had to overcome it. So you’re not alone.

So read on if you want to lose the tag of ‘fraud’, and overcome imposter syndrome.

You need to act quickly to overcome imposter syndrome

Success is the quickest way to feel like an imposter. But remember what Neil Gaiman says; “The problems of success can be harder, because nobody warns you about them.”

You can probably cope with failure. You might even know already what went wrong.

But the moment something swings your way? That point when success starts to build momentum?

It’s easy to assume it’s a fluke.

You got lucky. You’re cashing in a winning ticket that you didn’t buy yourself.

You need to act quickly if you’re going to prevent full-blown imposter syndrome.

Remind yourself of the role you played in your success, even if you feel like a fraud. Especially if you feel like a fraud.

You can attribute the wins to your own abilities. Your talents got you where you are.

That still applies if you were given an amazing opportunity. You still needed the skills to make the most of it!

Even spotting the opportunity in the first place means you played an active role in your success. Own it!

Put other people before yourself

There is a straightforward way to overcome imposter syndrome. But note it’s not necessarily an easy one.

Why?

It means you have to focus on other people, instead of yourself. It sounds harsh but it’s not.

If you focus on what you can give/do for others, then you don’t matter as much anymore. And if they get something out of it, then you can’t be a fraud.

Their success proves you actually did something.

Once you shift the focus away from yourself, that inner voice might pipe down altogether.

It’s no longer about your success. It’s their success.

Or you’ll be able to point to the people you’ve helped. Tell that voice to be quiet.

And if people don’t appreciate your efforts to help them? Find those who do!

Don’t just focus on the negative side of life

We all do it. We all end up fixating on the bad reviews, or the cutting remarks.

We remember the criticism, often word-for-word. But do we remember the praise we’ve had?

If you want to overcome imposter syndrome, then you need a record of the times you weren’t a fraud.

So take screenshots of good reviews. Save those emails from people thanking you for your help.

You can even keep staff appraisal records if you have them.

Anytime someone sends you gratitude, keep a record of it. No matter what form it takes.

Look through this record whenever you feel like a fraud. These people didn’t think you were a fraud. So you shouldn’t either.

It could be that your self-esteem is too low. You can’t help but focus on the negative.

Try this self-esteem test. Then learn how to pass it.

Stop comparing yourself to other people

Honestly, comparisons are the fastest way to make you feel like a fraud. It’s easy to look at successful people and envy them their success.

But often, what looks like an overnight sensation actually took years of hard work.

And social media certainly isn’t helping you. Some 56% of people actually feel worse about their lives after using social media.

Remember that people carefully curate the content they put online to make themselves look better.

So what you don’t see are their own anxieties, bad days, worries or flaws.

If you really want to overcome imposter syndrome, often it helps to stop looking at how other people are doing.

And they’re probably looking at what you put online and feeling the same way!

Remember lot of imposter syndrome comes from low self confidence. You won’t let yourself accept your successes because you feel you don’t deserve them.

If you want to boost your self confidence, then try these tips to see yourself in a better light.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

So you have an opportunity in front of you and you’re afraid to take it. If you try it and it doesn’t work out, people will know you’re a fraud.

So you don’t take it. People never get the chance to find out you’re a fraud.

Look at it from the other perspective: They also never get the chance to find out how good you can be.

Treat it as a learning experience. Take the opportunity and do it anyway. If you fail, learn from it so you’ll succeed next time.

Do you remember Virgin Cola? Richard Branson launched it in 1994. He did manage a 0.5% market share in the US.

But production stopped in 2012 because the US soft drink giants beat him down.

Did Richard Branson cave and give up?

No. He admitted his mistake and moved on to something else.

Actually, always use Richard Branson as your yardstick. He’s launched more than 400 companies under the Virgin brand. Many of them have failed.

But he keeps going. So should you.

It’s okay to admit your limitations

We’ve all been in that situation where someone thinks you’re an expert on something. Everyone comes to you looking for answers.

You don’t want to admit you don’t know everything. So you start expanding on things more than you maybe should.

You just got on the Express to Fraud City.

So let’s try another option and overcome imposter syndrome.

Everyone asks you for answers. Give as many as you can.

But then ask someone else. It’s okay to admit you don’t know everything.

Even Mary Poppins is only practically perfect.

So Google it. Find an actual expert. You’ll actually look more impressive admitting you’re not a walking Wikipedia.

And you won’t feel like a fraud.

And there’s actually a surprising bonus with imposter syndrome

If you really can’t get past your fear that you’re a fraud, then use it.

Find a way to prove that you’re really as good as everyone else thinks you are.

Come up with a new solution to help people. Shake things up.

Use your success to build forward momentum to do new and better things.

Maya Angelou uses her imposter syndrome to spur her on to write new books.

You can easily do the same. Use it as fuel for your fire!

Maybe you feel like more confidence will help you overcome imposter syndrome. So why not try the Conversation Confidence program and see the results for yourself?

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