6 Tips for Fighting Imposter Syndrome

You are certainly not alone if you’ve ever related to the “I have no idea what I’m doing” memes that feature a be-goggled kitten sitting in front of a chemistry set. Most of us have experienced that out-of-body feeling that we aren’t actually good at what we do, but rather “imposters” in our respective crafts. The feeling is common – and beatable.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you feel like you’re a fraud.

1. Recognize the feeling as totally normal.

Lots and lots of people have felt as if they don’t deserve to be where they’ve landed in life. Up to 70 percent of people, in fact. It’s even been suggested that those plagued by second-guessing themselves are actually more successful than those who never question whether they’ve earned everything they have. Seeing this “syndrome” as a sign of humility may be helpful in overcoming its negative effects.

2. Understand that ability does not mean mastery.

Remind yourself that just because you aren’t necessarily an “expert” in your field, that doesn’t mean you aren’t good at what you do. And, hey, even experts need ongoing training to keep up on the newest and latest information. Don’t put yourself down for not having decades of experience – your current ambition, skills and work ethic are great enough.

3. Remember what you’ve accomplished.

And don’t preface each accomplishment with an “I’ve only done…” Talk yourself up and be your own hype man. The only way to start believing in what you can do is to feel some pride about what you’ve already done.

4. List what you have to learn.

Utilize that anxiety to create a productive plan for yourself. Feeling overshadowed by others in your field who seem to have more experience? Sign up for an online course to further your knowledge and practice your craft. Recognize what you still have to learn so that list – and your second-guessing – will begin to shrink.

5. Talk to people who have been through it before.

Join forums where you can connect with others in your field. You might be surprised to learn how many others have felt the same way. Here you can find support and guidance for navigating those tough emotions.

6. Learn to take a compliment.

Probably the list item with the most widespread applicability: be kind to yourself by allowing yourself to accept the kindness of others. Being able to accept compliments on your work is equally as important as accepting constructive criticism – both allow you to advance in both your comfort with your skills and your confidence as a person.

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53 comments

Marie W
Marie W15 days ago

Thank you very much.

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Paulo R
Paulo R6 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo R6 months ago

ty

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Pat P
Pat P6 months ago

A common problem with the present U.S. gov't Administration--except that not all of them are aware of it!

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Peggy B
Peggy B6 months ago

TYFS

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara6 months ago

Keep taking courses or college classes. The world is changing very fast.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara6 months ago

th

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Emma Z
Emma W6 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Winn A
Winn Adams6 months ago

Noted

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Winn A
Winn Adams6 months ago

Thanks

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