Five expert-backed ways to overcome impostor syndrome

Ever feel like you’re on the brink of being found out as a massive fraud?

You feel like you’ve fooled everyone into thinking you’re better than you are, and that you’ll get caught at any moment.

You don’t believe you’re good enough, basically, and this can lead you to overcompensate – engaging in all sorts of people-pleasing behaviours to ‘make up’ for what you see as your shortcomings.

This isn’t a healthy way to exist. But unlearning impostor syndrome takes time and work.

How do we do that?

Becky Hall, a life coach and leadership consultant, shares her five steps.

Reset your mindset from scarcity to ‘enough’

‘Impostor syndrome comes from a scarcity mindset,’ Becky tells ‘From here we are convinced that we lack what we require – that we just aren’t good enough.

‘It’s fear-based and triggers fear responses, which is what can lead us to such anxiety.

‘Try replacing this with an “enough mindset” and substituting fear with self-love. Appreciate that you are enough exactly as you are, with all your flaws and talents.

‘Sure, you can learn and grow, but as a starting point you are enough.

‘You are much more likely to do well if you are coming from a place of believing that you are enough. It relaxes you and stops you from reacting as if you are being attacked, and puts you into a state of ease and flow. This in turn means you are more likely to perform better.’

Fact check your beliefs

Becky says: ‘Impostor syndrome and its toxic friend perfectionism come from a fantasized version of the world. They are both false constructs and they damage us so much because we can only ever fall short in relation to them.

‘Remembering that everyone is human and therefore fallible can be a hugely helpful re-frame here.

‘You don’t have to be perfect – no-one can be. Just give of your best and that will be enough.’

Invite different voices to challenge the negative one

Got an inner voice that’s a massive downer? Invite some challengers to the party.

‘Notice how and when that loud critical voice dominates your thinking,’ Becky suggests.

‘It’s like that person at a party who arrives and takes over the conversation not letting anyone else get a word in edgeways. Rather than just wishing it away (which is pretty hard when it’s so established), try inviting a couple of other voices.

‘That quiet person next to you at a party who might have a different view. What might a kinder voice say? What would your best friend be saying? Try listening to them for a bit and have a break from the critic.’

Keep an ‘I did it’ list

Take note of your accomplishments. ‘We all have to-do lists telling us what we have to do,’ notes Becky. ‘But try keeping an “I did it” list at the end of each day.

‘Write down the two or three things that you are pleased to have achieved that day. It helps us to remember that we are making progress.’

Create your own ‘enough’ mantra

‘Write a sentence that speaks directly to the doubts that you feel,’ Becky recommends. ‘For example, “I’m am good enough exactly as I am”.

‘Practise saying it to yourself every single day.

‘When you change what you believe about yourself, anything is possible.’

Becky Hall is an accredited life coach, leadership consultant and is the author of The Art of Enough

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