How to Make Imposter Syndrome Your Advantage
Understand that there is nothing wrong with you. You are great even when you feel sometimes a bit imposter.
Photo by Vale Zmeykov on Unsplash
Do you sometimes feel like you are not good enough? That you need to prove yourself first before asking for anything?
Are you troubled by feelings of inferiority? You work hard and you are a true perfectionist. Yet, you are never confident about your work performance.
Congratulations, you are a candidate for suffering from imposter syndrome. You may wonder how to get rid of it. The likely scenario is that you may not avoid such feelings completely. But you can use them to your advantage.
Get to know yourself and accept who you are. Then even imposter syndrome can’t stop you from being successful.
What is imposter syndrome?
I understand that it can be uncomfortable to talk about your feelings. Let me give you this upfront.
There is nothing wrong with you!
You don’t need to spend tons of money on therapy. To begin, you must get to know yourself. It is modern to suffer from something, but are you really an imposter?
Impostor syndrome is a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.
The common signs are:
Thinking that your success was just luck
Feeling that you are not competent enough
Putting your performance down
Thinking you have to overachieve
Challenging yourself to the point of failure
These don’t look that harmful. Yet, when linked to anxieties or depression, they need more sensitive treatment.
Are you an imposter?
Time to assess yourself. Everyone sometimes feels down and not capable. The difference is that imposter syndrome is a more long-term feeling. It is often overlooked and even underestimated. So, watch out for early signs.
Evaluate yourself if you sometimes say things like:
Why am I even trying? I am useless.
What do I do here? I would not be a proper fit anyway.
That’s fine, no need to thank me. It is not a big deal.
I was just lucky.
Do I deserve it? No, they notice, I am a fraud.
Ah, right, you praise me now, but you don’t mean it.
There are also different types of imposter syndrome feelings:
Verywell / Theresa Chiechi
Does it sound familiar? No need to panic. Instead, be realistic and true to yourself, as you embark on your journey.
The first step is always to admit that something is happening. Accept your feelings. Don’t beat yourself up for experiencing them. Simply nod and acknowledge them. Yes, you have imposter syndrome.
Understand your triggers
The second step is to play a bit of an analyst. You can’t use imposter syndrome to your advantage if you don’t understand yourself.
Take a chance and get to know yourself.
Use your feelings creatively and turn your self-doubt into a journey of self-recognition. Why do you feel imposter? Was there any specific time that you remember feeling that way for the first time?
Your family might contribute to your current feelings. Parenting styles characterized by being controlling or overprotective may contribute to the development of imposter syndrome in children.
It could be school, teachers, or coaches who made you feel pressure for the first time.
You may be too much of a perfectionist.
The trigger could have been competing in your first job.
For the first time, I felt like an imposter when I had to perform at a concert at my musical school. I was shy and afraid of people noticing how poorly I was playing. I usually played just fine, but the pressure was too much.
You can’t move forward without proper reflection. Take this time for yourself and analyze potential triggers and how they make you feel.
Balance your feelings
The third step is to work with your feelings. Don’t suppress them.
But bucket them. As soon as you feel negative feelings arise from doubting your work or promotion, make sure to also include at least one positive feeling in the same bucket.
Here is an example. You are about to present your work to your boss. You are afraid that he will think you messed up and that he will realize he hired a fraud. Tough, right? What if you linked doubts with a feeling of opportunity? See an opportunity to get better and have a constructive discussion.
The goal is to balance your positive and negative feelings together.
You always feel so many things at once. Try to create a positive-negative spectrum to handle your imposter syndrome. For example:
You are stressed — You are also excited.
You feel like a fraud. — You also feel you have a chance to learn something.
You feel shy about your work. — You feel confident you did what you could.
Try to see both sides of the coin. Your life is not black or white; it is both. Regardless of your feelings of imposter syndrome.
Take advantage of your imposter syndrome
The fourth step is to see advantages in such disadvantages as experiencing imposter syndrome.
Like you, many amazing professionals experience imposter syndrome. But they are also successful high-performers. Imposter syndrome can motivate you to be better. Become a superhero or an expert.
Flip your negative feelings into positive development.
It can give you a huge drive to succeed. There is nothing wrong with you. You are as successful as others. Yet, don’t compare too much. Everyone has his journey.
Your feelings are not facts or accomplishments. They are there regardless. So, stop being paralyzed, lost, or down. Make a conscious effort to balance your hijacked mind with the positive side of the spectrum.
Take small steps and embrace your situation. You play the main role in seeing things through. You are in charge. How great does that sound? Decide to take advantage of your perfectionism. Don’t change who you are, but adjust your point of view.
Final food for thoughts
Imposter syndrome can hold you back. It is a pretty nasty thing that prevents you from being happy at work and in your relationships. I feel for you.
It takes time and a lot of reflection to understand why you feel that way. If you wish someone could solve it for you, you might be waiting forever. First, understand that you are perfectly OK. Then start building a healthy relationship with yourself by balancing your emotions.
You are a treasure, even when you sometimes feel like an imposter. Facts talk where you doubt.
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