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Everyone Suffers from Imposter Syndrome. Here's How to Handle It

Imposter Syndrome does not reflect your abilities or worth.

Impostor syndrome is a feeling of self-doubt and inadequacy — that little voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough to step out of your comfort zone and say yes to new opportunities.

It wants you to stay small and keeps you from achieving the success you desire.

It can lead to feelings of fraudulence and fear of being found out as "not good enough."

It's important to recognize that impostor syndrome is a common experience and does not reflect your actual abilities or worth.


Which Type of Imposter Are You?

The Perfectionist
Rather than focus on strengths, you tend to fixate on flaws
and mistakes.

The Superhero
You feel inferior to your peers and tend to push yourself to work harder
to measure up.

The Natural Genius
You set the bar really high and when you don't succeed on your first
try, you feel shame.

The Soloist
You don't like to ask for help because you feel it is a sign of weakness
or inadequacy.

The Expert
You are always trying to learn more because you fear you’ll be
exposed as inexperienced or unknowledgeable.


Overcoming imposter phenomenon, also known as imposter syndrome, involves a combination of self-reflection, cognitive restructuring, and intentional behavioral changes. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you overcome imposter feelings:

1. Acknowledge and Accept:

Recognize the Feelings: The first step to overcoming Imposter Syndrome is recognizing and accepting your feelings. Understand that many high-achieving individuals share similar doubts. By acknowledging these thoughts, you take the first step towards regaining control.

2. Understand Your Triggers:

Identify Specific Triggers: Pinpoint situations or circumstances that trigger your imposter feelings. Understanding the specific scenarios that make you feel inadequate is the first step in addressing them.

3. Challenge Negative Thoughts:

Separate Feelings from Facts: Challenge negative self-talk by questioning the validity of your thoughts. Replace self-doubt with positive affirmations and realistic self-appraisals. Ask yourself if there's evidence supporting your negative beliefs.

4. Keep a Success Journal:

Document Achievements: Create a success journal to record your accomplishments, big or small. Reflect on the skills and effort that contributed to your success. Reviewing this journal can serve as a reminder of your capabilities.

5. Set Realistic Goals:

Break Goals Down: Instead of setting overwhelming goals, break them down into smaller, achievable tasks. Celebrate your successes along the way, reinforcing a sense of accomplishment.

6. Talk About It:

Share with Others: Discuss your feelings with trusted friends, family, or mentors. Sharing your experiences can provide valuable perspectives, reassurance, and support.

7. Embrace Constructive Feedback:

Learn from Feedback: View feedback as an opportunity for growth rather than confirmation of your perceived shortcomings. Use constructive criticism as a tool to improve and develop your skills.

8. Develop a Support System:

Connect with Peers: Build a support network of peers who understand your experiences. Engage in professional communities or mentorship programs where you can share challenges and receive encouragement.

9. Seek Professional Guidance:

Therapy or Counseling: Consider seeking support from a mental health professional. Therapy can provide a safe space for exploring the root causes of imposter feelings and developing strategies to overcome them.

10. Practice Self-Compassion:

Be Kind to Yourself: Cultivate self-compassion by treating yourself with the same kindness you would offer to a friend facing similar challenges. Recognize that everyone makes mistakes and experiences self-doubt.

11. Celebrate Successes:

Acknowledge Achievements: Celebrate your accomplishments without downplaying them. Allow yourself to experience and enjoy success without feeling the need to attribute it solely to external factors.

12. Embrace a Growth Mindset:

View Challenges as Opportunities: Adopt a growth mindset by seeing challenges as opportunities for learning and development. Understand that your abilities can be cultivated through effort and perseverance.

Here are some affirmations that can offer you permission to fail when starting something new:

• "I am allowed to make mistakes and learn from them."

• "It's okay to not have all the answers or be perfect."

• "I am worthy and capable, even if I don't succeed right away."

• "Failures are opportunities for growth and learning."

• "I am allowed to take risks and try new things, even if they don't turn out perfectly."

• "I am enough, even if I don't succeed at everything I try."

• "I am worthy of love and respect, regardless of my successes or failures."

• "I am capable of handling challenges and setbacks, and I will learn from them."

Remember, it's natural to feel uncertain or self-doubt when starting something new. By reminding yourself that it's okay to fail and that you are worthy and capable, you can give yourself permission to take risks and try new things, even if they don't turn out perfectly.

Remember that overcoming imposter phenomenon is an ongoing process, and it's okay to seek support along the way. With consistent effort and a commitment to self-reflection, you can build resilience and confidence in your abilities. You are not alone in this journey, and you have the power to change the narrative about your own success.

You're not an imposter – you’re incredibly capable and actually pretty fucking amazing.


If you live in PA and want to start therapy, reach out here to schedule a free 15 minute intro call and see if we make a good fit!

Follow along on instagram @notbrokentherapy for more mental health tips from a therapist who gets it.


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