Two weeks ago, I shared about Imposter Syndrome. Then last week, I mentioned that I would share some ways to combat it. So, here I am to keep my word and share some of what I have learned about and what has been working for me.
It’s time to let go of perfect.
The biggest factor in beating imposter syndrome from my experience has been learning to let go of needing to be perfect. For a perfectionist, this is anything but easy! However, with practice, it can be done at least some of the time.
If you find that you’ve been working on a task for a long time or that something in particular is stressing you out, pause. Ask yourself why. Does this really need to be perfect? Is it that important? What will happen if it isn’t? A lot of the time, we act as if a single minor flaw might be the end of the world when in reality, no one would even notice. Sometimes, done is better than perfect.
The next step is forgiving yourself for not being perfect. Accept it about yourself. Because here’s the thing- no one is perfect. It’s not possible. Striving for it is just a way to stress yourself out, push to your limits and burn yourself out. Rather than trying to be something that you’re not, try celebrating who you are. If you’ve got imposter syndrome, this doesn’t come naturally. But with practice, it starts to feel pretty awesome.
Use your journal to prove that you’re not a fraud.
Imposter Syndrome makes our minds tell us that we don’t deserve the good in our lives. That we haven’t earned our achievements. It tells us that we don’t belong. Therefore, it makes sense that a great way to fight it is to prove it wrong. We can do this through journaling.
Figure out what area (or areas) of your life that imposter syndrome is affecting you. Where do you worry about falling short? What has you doubting yourself? Write it down in your journal and then write down all of the reasons that it isn’t true. Challenge your inner critic and list out your truths. For example, if you’re worried about offering your services because you don’t think you have the right experience, credentials, etc, write that down and then follow it up with all of the reasons that you are qualified. Really dig deep and put it all on the page.
Talk to a therapist about the source of your self-doubt.
Often we have feelings or thoughts about ourselves without being fully aware of why. Talking things out with someone who is not only impartial but trained to help you sort through your thoughts can be huge. One of the really cool things about therapy is that there are a lot of different options. This means it might take a few tries to find the right fit for you, but once you find it, you’ll be able to make a lot more progress. From talk therapy to sort through your thoughts and feelings to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Hypnotherapy to help rewire your brain, there really is something out there for everyone. This can help you to figure out why you have imposter syndrome. Getting to the source can be huge as far as fighting it.
If therapy isn’t your thing, try a life coach.
I’ll be honest: when I was younger, I thought life coaches were a joke. I didn’t understand them at all and thought it was someone rich people turned to in order to not have to make their own decisions. How wrong I was! I was lucky enough to win a few sessions with a trained life coach through a summit I attended and figured what the hell, I’ll give it a shot. She changed my understanding completely and since then, I’ve worked with three different amazing coaches, I’ve become friends with many more, and I’ve started looking into the path of becoming one myself.
You see, a life coach is more like a guide. They don’t make your choices but can help you in different areas of your life depending on their specialty. One of the coaches I worked with specializes in self-sabotage and has a huge background in dealing with imposter syndrome. This meant that she was an expert and really good at helping explain the syndrome to me. She not only walked me through what a lot of it was, but helped me to identify where it was showing up in my life. She also had a ton of exercises for me to do, some with her and some on my own, in order to overcome it. With her help, I was able to make more progress in just a few weeks than I had over the course of a year of trying on my own. Similar to therapists however, there are a lot of different options out there and different coaches have their own styles. It might take a few tries before finding your right fit.
Remind yourself that you deserve good things.
Affirmations have been incredibly helpful for me during my healing journey. So much so that I actually created my own set that I sell in my etsy shop. Affirmations are a way of reminding yourself that you do deserve good things, celebrating how great you are and challenging the doubts that enter your mind. You can use these in a variety of ways- from displaying them somewhere you see frequently to repeating them to yourself in the mirror or during meditation. A few of my favorites are:
- I am enough.
- I deserve to be happy.
- I am capable.
- I have earned this.
- I am worthy of good things.
There are a lot of ways to challenge your imposter syndrome.
There are the ways that I’ve listed above and more. If you’re suffering from imposter syndrome and self-doubt, I highly suggest trying a few out to see what makes a difference for you. Learn to celebrate all that you are instead of trying to be more or putting on an act of perfection. Find your people, find your purpose, find yourself. Let down your walls and take risks. Watch how many doors start opening once you start believing in your worth. A happier and more confident you is possible.