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  • April 12, 2023 4 min read

    Do you ever feel like, despite what you’ve accomplished so far—whether it’s a goal or just your tasks for the day—that you’re not good enough? You have all this visual proof that you’re achieving things: you journal about your progress, you have a tracker to make sure you keep up with good habits, and there are check marks beside the most important tasks on your to-do list that show you’re getting things done. Despite this, there’s a part of you that doubts your abilities and makes you think that maybe you’re not as good as you think. Maybe you’ve just been winging it all this time.

    This kind of experience and the crippling struggles that come with it is pretty common. If you find yourself burdened by anxieties related to your success—even with all the evidence that tells you otherwise—then you might have what’s called imposter syndrome.

     

    Imposter Syndrome, defined.

    According to WebMD, imposter syndrome “describes someone who feels they aren't as capable as others think and fears they’ll be exposed as a fraud.” While it shares characteristics with self-doubt, the main difference is how persistent imposter syndrome is: it’s a relentless, nagging worry that doesn’t just go away.

    While this blog post is not meant to replace professional help, which you should definitely consider as needed, we want to share five different ways you can regain confidence so you can overcome imposter syndrome.

     

    1. Recognize and acknowledge what you’ve accomplished.

    It’s one thing to take note of what you’ve achieved by writing about them, but it’s an entirely different thing to recognize and acknowledge them. This may be especially challenging to do for individuals who grew up in cultures or families where modesty is of utmost importance: in this case, people may downplay their success, tell others they were just lucky, or even claim they only achieved what they did because of someone else’s help.

    Even then, should these things be true—even if there was luck involved or other people—your hard work deserves to be emphasized, too! This alone is already worthy of recognition since luck alone can only get you so far. Plus, even with the assistance of others, your success wouldn’t have been possible if you hadn’t pushed on, kept moving forward, and persevered.

    There are several ways you can practice recognizing and acknowledging your accomplishments: a habit tracker is already a good start, but you can also incorporate a timeline so you can follow milestones, which will allow you to have a clear overview of your progress as well as celebrate small wins. Eventually, as you get used to reflecting on your every success, you can move on to bigger, major achievements.

     

    2. Take note of your self-talk.

    A lot of our self-doubt can come from the way we talk to ourselves, especially if it’s in a negative way. If we’re to overcome imposter syndrome and become more confident, it’s important we get rid of this self-sabotaging behavior by reframing our self-talk into something more positive and compassionate.

    One way to do this is through positive affirmations: for example, instead of thinking you’re not qualified for a certain job or project you’re doing, you can reframe your thinking by focusing on how the skills and experience you have are actually what’s needed for you to be successful in your role. Be as specific as possible whenever countering all the negative things that come to mind: use facts and your current successes.

    Having trouble listening to your inner self and figuring out what kind of self-talk you have? Try mindfulness journaling. Just add an extra refill in your Field Journal (it can hold up to six) and have it alongside your current journal, planner, and habit trackers. This way, you have everything in one place—no more leaving any notebooks behind!

     

    3. Nurture a growth mindset.

    This is the perfect time to adopt a growth mindset instead of a fixed one! Why? Because there’s no place for self-doubt if we consider everything we encounter—from the ups of life to its lows—a learning experience. At its core, a growth mindset is all about seeing opportunities to learn no matter the situation we encounter.

    But what does this have to do with overcoming imposter syndrome? When we have a growth mindset, we turn doubts into roadblocks that we can overcome, mere challenges that we can persist through. Instead of getting stuck in a cycle of worry, what we’ll do instead is find ways to prove that we’re deserving of our success, all while seeking out new ways to continue proving ourselves further.

     

    4. Set realistic goals and expectations.

    From the get-go, if our goals and the expectations we have about them are realistic, then we won’t feel any pressure as we work towards our destination. We can go at a pace that works for us, one that ensures we’re performing at our best. It also reduces stress and helps build strong confidence, not to mention it saves time! We’re prone to fewer mistakes too and less likely to burn out or lose motivation.

     

    5. Keep a record of your successes handy.

    There’s something about having actual, visual proof of our success that helps keep our self-doubts at bay. When something is on paper, especially results, it’s hard to deny we don’t deserve our success! No matter how small or irrelevant you think an achievement is, write it down. And then, when you experience imposter syndrome, read through your list. Let it serve as a reminder that you’re more capable than you think.


    Start getting rid of imposter syndrome right now!

    Of course, it goes without saying that you should definitely seek support in times of crippling self-doubt. Whether that’s from a professional, a trusted family member, or a friend, talking to someone who understands or can relate, even provide reassurance, is always helpful. We hope the strategies above can also lend a hand and provide you alternative means to rebuild your confidence.

    What other strategies have you tried to get rid of imposter syndrome or just self-doubt in general? Share it with us and others in the comments below!

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