9 Tools for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

overcoming imposter syndrome

Do you ever feel like you’re a big fraud and that everyone is going to find out sooner or later? Or do you ever feel like you don’t deserve all of the success that you’ve enjoyed in your life?

If you’ve experienced either of those things, you’re likely dealing with what is called imposter syndrome. It’s a condition that causes people to feel like they’re inadequate and unworthy of holding a certain title or position, especially at work.

Overcoming imposter syndrome can be a challenge. It’s not easy to come to terms with it and find ways to convince your mind that your success is more than just “luck.”

But you can overcome it if you’re willing to work at it. Here are 9 tools for overcoming imposter syndrome.

1. Look Out for Obvious Signs of Imposter Syndrome

Studies have shown that about 70 percent of young people have imposter syndrome. But the problem is that many of them don’t realize it.

The key to overcoming imposter syndrome is keeping a close eye out for it. You might have imposter syndrome if you:

  • Feel as though you owe the majority of your success to “luck”
  • Find it very difficult to accept praise from others
  • Apologize for things when you didn’t actually do anything wrong
  • Hold yourself to extremely high standards
  • Convince yourself that you’re not enough to handle certain tasks

These are just some of the things people with imposter syndrome will do.

2. Recognize That You’re Suffering From Imposter Syndrome

Did your eyes almost just bulge out of your head as you read through that list of imposter syndrome attributes? If so, there’s a good chance you have it.

Admit it. Embrace it. Accept it.

The only way you’re going to be able to go about overcoming imposter syndrome is by attacking it head-on. That starts by coming to terms with the fact that you have it.

3. Realize That Lots of Successful People Have Imposter Syndrome

Recognizing the fact that you have imposter syndrome can be painful for some people. But you should realize that there are lots of famous and successful people who have suffered from it, too.

Here are just a few people who have struggled with imposter syndrome:

  • Maya Angelou
  • Don Cheadle
  • Tina Fey

There are so many others, too! Realize that you are not alone. This will make it easier to manage your imposter syndrome.

4. Avoid Trying to Be a Perfectionist

While imposter syndrome and perfectionism aren’t mutually exclusive, there is a connection between the two.

Lots of people who have imposter syndrome struggle because they are perfectionists who can never seem to perfect anything they’re working on. They constantly feel like failures because they can’t get something just right.

If you fall into this category, work on letting yourself off the hook more often. Everything you do isn’t going to be perfect…and that’s OK!

5. Keep a Running List of All Your Accomplishments

How often do you take a step back and look at everything you’ve been able to accomplish? If you have imposter syndrome, you probably don’t do it at all.

Change that as soon as possible.

Sit down and make a list of everything you’ve accomplished in your life. Then, add to that list over and over again as you accomplish more.

Even though you’ve obviously lived through your accomplishments, you might surprise yourself when you see it all laid out in front of you. It’ll show you that you’re more than just “lucky.”

6. Write Down the Things That Have Helped You Become Successful

Outside of making a list of your accomplishments, make a list of the things that have helped you become successful as well.

These things might include:

  • Your natural talents
  • Your hard work
  • Your dedication
  • Your passion
  • Your patience
  • Your team-first attitude
  • And more

By the time you’re done, it’s going to be hard to convince yourself that you just got “lucky” in life. There will clearly be a lot more to it than just that.

7. Speak About Your Battle With Imposter Syndrome With Someone You Trust

Don’t suffer from imposter syndrome in silence. There are people around you who would be more than willing to talk with you about it.

Consider speaking with a mentor, a teacher, a parent, a coworker, or even just a close friend. You might find that whoever you talk to has also suffered from imposter syndrome. It’ll make you feel better about dealing with it.

8. Try New Things in Life and in Your Career

One of the most effective ways to instill confidence in yourself and get over imposter syndrome is by trying new things and showing yourself you can do them.

Is there a job at your company that you would normally be scared to try? Volunteer to do it anyway and give it a shot.

Is there something on your bucket list that’s gone unchecked for too many years now? Put your fears to the side and do it!

By trying new things, you’ll prove to yourself that you’re more than just a person who has lucked up on things in life. You’ll show that you’re the kind of person who seizes an opportunity to do something new.

9. Learn to Use Imposter Syndrome to Your Advantage

At the end of the day, there’s no way to cure yourself of imposter syndrome completely. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

If you always feel like you’re a little bit unworthy to be doing a job, it’ll motivate you that much more to do the job right. It’ll also prevent you from resting on your laurels or getting too confident at any point.

Use imposter syndrome to your advantage instead of allowing it to use you.

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome Once and For All

It’s going to take some work on your part. But overcoming imposter syndrome is possible.

After you’ve conquered it, you’ll realize how silly it was to downplay the role you played in your success. You’ll appreciate your achievements more and work hard to accomplish even more in the future.

Check out our blog for more tips on being a happier, more confident person.