How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Previously, I discussed the topic of imposter syndrome and now I want to provide advice on how to overcome imposter syndrome. My friends, your favorite celebrities (i.e. Tina Fey and Michelle Obama), and about 70% of the U.S. population have experienced imposter syndrome. Women and women of color are particularly found suffering with imposter syndrome. You are not alone. Imposter syndrome can become chronic if it is not acknowledged by those who are suffering from it. Therefore, I want to offer some suggestions and tips to combat imposter syndrome. 


1) Make a list of your strengths and accomplishments. 

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Listing your achievements helps you see all your accomplishments on paper. We have a tendency to gloss over little achievements for the bigger achievements. No matter how big or small it is, an achievement is an achievement. Having all your achievements visually in front of you helps when you’re questioning your own worth. The list should be equal and balanced in terms of improvement and achievements.


2) Recognize imposter feelings and own your accomplishments. 

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When imposter feelings develop, try to make an effort to push against your own ideals and rewrite your cognitive process. Own up to your successes and recognize that you played a role in your successes. It is not just “based on luck” or “other circumstances.” Reconstructing your cognitive process helps to improve confidence and find evidence that you truly deserve to be where you are. 


3) Talk to a mentor who relates to your idea of success. 

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By talking to a mentor who you believe is more experienced and deserving, this helps put “things into perspective to realize that what you’re feeling is normal.” Comparing yourself to someone you admire who may also feel the same way puts your contradicting thoughts into perspective that your achievements are enough.


4) Hype yourself up!

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Research has shown that talking to yourself in first-person in a positive light increases your confidence. The language we use for ourselves promotes self-regulation in anxiety or thought-provoking situations. The next time you are thinking you are not worth it, say to yourself that you are awesome!  Repeat after me, “I AM AWESOME!” 

As former First Lady Michelle Obama (who has imposter syndrome, by the way!) stated, “You have to start by getting those demons out of your head.” The next time you question your successes or achievements, remember these tips to drive away those pesky thoughts. Don’t be frustrated with yourself because it will take time to battle the imposter phenomenon. It will come and go but remember that you are not the only one experiencing this. Reach out to your friends because they may feel the same way. You are the reason why you got to where you are in the first place. You are worthy.