Imposter Syndrome and How to Break Through It

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It’s a real thing

So as it turns out, this (Imposter Syndrome) is more common than we think and I believe at different times in our life is something we can all relate to. Let’s start with the definition of Imposter Syndrome in case you are wondering what the heck I am even talking about. Imposter Syndrome is defined as a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments, and has a persistent, internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud! Pause to let that sink in for a sec.

Flashback, and I vaguely remember reading about this a year or so ago somewhere and texting it to my boss saying, “Oh my gosh, I think I have this!” While I have a lot of accomplishments in my medical career and my blog, I always have this feeling of I don’t actually know what I am talking about and omg what if I am exposed because there has got to be someone out there, probably lots of people out there, that are so much better at this or knowledgeable of this (whatever it is) than me, so why am I talking, teaching, pitching about this etc. Yikes! Apparently a lot of talented people have had this feeling too (like Albert Einstein for example).

Let’s elaborate on this theory for a second. For example, I was again asked to do a presentation for our Regional Plan of Action meeting at work. This time the topic was different than my presentation that I did in front of the entire sales force at our National Sales Meeting last Summer. Regardless the topic, I found myself thinking, why me? Why do I keep getting asked or volunteered to talk about these things? There’s got to be someone else in the company at our meeting that can do this, and does do this thing wayyy better than me. Well it turns out I was asked to co-host the discussion (presentation) because my success rate in pulling off these events was the second highest in the region with equivalently outstanding ROI (Return on Investment). Wow. And it’s something, I thought to myself, that I should’ve known all along. However, why didn’t I?

It’s the same thing with my blog, when I find myself landing campaigns or pitching brands, I know I am confident in the top notch quality, outstanding passion and raw integrity of my work, yet why do I have this underlying feeling of doubt or curiosity of my value to them? Or when someone recognizes me in public or digitally, why do I always assume for a brief second at first, that they must have me confused with someone way bigger or better than me and my blog? There’s probably something similar in your world that you can relate to having these feelings with as well. So what to do about it?

While recently listening to the Often Ambitious podcast, they discussed this topic, and guys I found it so relatable. It’s something many of us struggle with on the regular. If you have ever felt like this I highly recommend listening to this episode (56) of the podcast as I found it so insightful, relatable and comforting to know I’m not alone. They also offer actionable advice on things you can do to help when you have these thoughts, fears and feelings.

So Ladies…we need to stop undercutting or devaluing our credibility and accomplishments-translating to our self worth. What you bring to the table is so unique and powerful. When I find myself thinking these things it honestly sucks and I have to remember my value and the fact that I am uniquely amazing in what I offer. To some I may still be a beginner, but to many I have achieved greatness already.

So here are some things/tips I do when I find myself with the feeling of Imposter Syndrome. My hope is that it will help you too to realize you have already achieved so much, to most you are the expert people believe you to be, and it’s time for you to start believing these things and in yourself again.

1. Surround yourself with like minded, uplifting women. This is your tribe girl! Leave negative people behind this year. They only bring you down. Sometimes we just need to be reminded how great we are by relatable, uplifting women. Keep those friends, colleagues, whoever, close.

2. Fill your mind with connected, inspiring knowledge. It is so important to have that element of self awareness and seek to constantly improve upon ourselves. Put yourself first at times my friend. I listen to podcasts like Often Ambitious Podcast and The Influencer Podcast to constantly relate, connect, and work on myself so I have actionable tools on what to do when I find myself with these thoughts or obstacles in my journey. I’m also reading relatable and encouraging books. If you want to take it a step further, you could also work with a life coach. Next up…

3. Write your goals, fears, and accomplishments down. Read them every morning. You could also create a vision board and put it somewhere you see daily. It’s important to focus on improvement and goals but equally as important to remind yourself of all the amazing things you have already achieved. Get that positive self talk going girl! Every morning. I don’t care if it’s in the shower or on your way to work, just get this step into your routine.

4. Last, take a mental health or “personal” day when you need it and just do something you love to get those good vibes back in your life. If you run yourself down and are constantly living in the stress of the fear while being asked to do things like share your knowledge, experience and expertise with others, yet you feel like a fraud (Imposter), then it’s going to physically and mentally wear on you until you get sick. I think I stressed myself out so much about this upcoming presentation (there’s a difference in preparing and psyching yourself out), that I allowed myself to get physically and mentally drained and am now fighting a terrible cold. We’ve got to take better care of ourselves and give ourselves the celebration and gratitude of our accomplishments. I did a great job with the presentation, by the way (who would’ve thought! - Insert Sarcasm).

I’ll be right there with you, striving to do these things and hold myself accountable along the daily journey too. Remember this. You are worthy and so am I. You are awesome and deserving of your success and so am I. You know more than you give yourself credit for and so do I. Let’s continue to strive for greatness and celebrate the wins (no matter how big or small) we have already won.

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More helpful articles on Imposter Syndrome: article 1, article 2, article 3