4 Ways To Build Confidence & Overcome Impostor Syndrome

Are you a perfectionist that rarely asks for help? - Me, too.

Do you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others - their work, circumstances, and personalities? - Umm, yes.

Are you familiar with the feelings of self doubt, fear of failure, and just feeling like a straight up fraud? - Same. 

If all the scenarios above sound familiar, you may be experiencing Impostor Syndrome. Don’t worry though, I am right there with you. And I’m here to tell you that we’re not alone! 

It’s been estimated that nearly 70% of individuals will experience an episode of impostor syndrome at least once in their life. It particularly affects millennials, women, and people of color. It’s also prevalent in high achievers, and with individuals with low-self esteem.

Research shows that 85% of working adults feel inadequate or incompetent at work, yet only about 25% actually know what impostor syndrome is. For me, finding out about impostor syndrome was a game changer. Not only did I start to understand why I was feeling this way, but I was finally able to begin managing it.

I’m hoping that by shedding some light on impostor syndrome you will also be able to overcome any feelings of inadequacy and fear. I believe we should all be afforded the ability to feel the success we truly deserve.

So, what exactly is impostor syndrome anyway? Well, simply put, it’s when one lacks an internal acknowledgement of their accomplishments and success, which results in a self-perceived phoniness. Aka no matter what, you still feel like a fake that doesn’t deserve their achievements.

How does one overcome these feelings of worry and self-doubt you might wonder? Well, there are a few things you can start doing to help you build confidence and manage your negative thoughts. More details below...

Know that you are not alone! What you are feeling is normal. Like I mentioned above, most people will experience feelings of inadequacy at least once in their lives. It can be helpful to find someone you trust to confide in. This could be someone like a mentor, coach, or respected peer. Being vulnerable will feel extremely freeing, and you might just find that those feelings are shared, or even be given some good advice. Once you start to realize that you are not going through this alone, it starts to seem less scary.

Seek the truth. I want you to sit with yourself and dive deep. All of the evidence you need about why you were given an opportunity or achieved success is right there inside of you. You haven’t been able to see it however, because it’s been ignored due to the fear you are experiencing. The truth is, when you feel like this, it’s usually due to some idea of perfection you had that never actually existed. Internal and external factors you experienced created this mindset of negative thought, and deception. The irony with impostor syndrome is that the truth is usually the exact opposite of what you fear.

Re-frame your mindset. First, let’s re-frame the term impostor syndrome. Let’s think of it not as a debilitating condition, but as a strength. People who suffer from this condition are usually humble, high-achieving, and hard-working. Those are all excellent qualities. Plus, questioning your own values can come in handy when trying to identify any areas or opportunities for growth.

Now, let’s re-frame your thoughts and ideas about performance. This can be as simple as switching from “I can’t do this” to “I know I can do this.” Or “I might fail if I try this” to “I am going to succeed if I try this.” The hard part is catching those negative thoughts and ideas immediately, so you can re-frame them into something positive.

Keep working at it diligently! It takes a lot of time, work, and persistence to overcome these feelings. Every day should be a practice of courage and assurance. Start communicating with confidence, get into the habit of making eye contact, or walk with your head high and an open heart. Soon you will feel more confident about yourself, and others will take notice. 

If there is one thing I want you to leave knowing, it’s this: In your business, in your life, you are worthy. You are smarter than you think. You are more talented than you think. You are so much more than you give yourself credit for. Try to remember and remind yourself of this every day. You deserve everything you have and more.

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