Have you heard of Imposter Syndrome before? Perhaps not the term, but chances are you have experienced it. Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud” (thanks Wikipedia).
In other words, you don’t believe you are good enough, smart enough, experienced enough, or worthy enough to be doing what it is you are currently doing or desire to do. It’s this belief that holds up back from going after our dreams or crushing big goals for fear of someone might call us out on our credentials. Let me let you in on a little secret, no one will fact check you if they trust, and what produces trust is confidence.
Let me give you an example from my own experience. When I started blogging about my gluten-free life, I claimed the title of Expert pretty quickly. No, I didn’t go to school or take some fancy course to earn this accolade, but I had the first-hand, lived experience. I lead with this, I was confident in my findings, and built trust that people also started to refer to me as an expert. Yes, there are actual gluten-free experts out there, but we all approach it differently and I don’t for a second look to them and think that I am a fraud just because I don’t have the credentials they do. I am living proof of my expertise!
You see, often times we are looking to others as a point of reference for our own situation. We compare ourselves to them and that can turn into a real slippery slope, even if you do have the right initials behind your name. This is why I think Imposter Syndrome does nothing but keep us small, preventing us from stepping into our power & greatest potential! Here is how you can eliminate this mindset today!
1. Stay In Your Own Lane
When we focus on our own journey, we aren’t as bothered by what others are doing. We only look to our own past as a benchmark of progress and growth. I encourage to look to others for the purpose of inspiration, guidance or support, but know that your path and pace is your own. You’re doing the best you can and that is good enough, go easy on yourself!
2. Focus on What You’re Good At
If we only focus on the negatives, that’s all we’re going to see. When I find that I am in a spiral of imposter syndrome I quickly pivot my mindset to all of the awesome things I am good at. I start to lift my own spirits by acknowledging and expressing gratitude for my own gifts. It can quickly turn those “I’m not’s” to “I am” and that is far more empowering!
3. Focus on the Value You Bring
Think about what you are offering to your clients, audience or team. We all bring unique value to the table, and when we lead with this we quickly become more confident in our own accomplishments and capabilities. For a period I was unsure of my ability as a coach, and went through a period of doubt. I was able to get a hold of myself and recognize that I am providing my clients with immense business & mindset tools that propels them towards their goals. Tools that without me they would not have the same access to. That definitely turned things around for me.
4. Visualize Yourself “As If”
This is a powerful subconscious reprogramming technique that I had to add in because it has been transformational for me. I find when we are experiencing imposter syndrome, we are often projecting “what if” scenarios, most of which will never become reality. Instead of festering over the potential of something maybe occurring, visualize the positive outcome you wish for. If you want to be a leader or expert in your field or industry, envision what that version of you looks, feels, sounds like (or the vision of someone who you aspire to model). When you can picture it, you can believe it, and then you can become it. I love this exercise because I immediately light up and feel like I can conquer all!
5. Accept What You Cannot Control
Lastly, understand that this is common and most of us will experience imposter syndrome at some stage in our lives. Accept that this is often a sign of growth, stepping out of our comfort zone and levelling up. It will always feel uncomfortable but it’s part of the process!