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Imposter syndrome is a common issue that many entrepreneurs and leaders struggle with on a daily basis.  If you’re currently feeling like an imposter, it’s important to know there are some action steps you can take to overcome imposter syndrome.

People who suffer with imposter syndrome often feel like frauds and experience feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness, despite their successes and achievements.

Rather than celebrating their accomplishments, people with imposter syndrome often feel like a fraud and worry they will be found out as not being good enough.

If you currently feel out of place, that you don’t belong and continually downplay your accomplishments, you may be suffering from imposter syndrome.

So if you feel like you’re suffering from imposter syndrome, here are 7 tips to help you overcome imposter syndrome.  They will help you stop feeling like an imposter so you can celebrate your successes and accomplishments.

What is imposter syndrome?

I define imposter syndrome as a continual feeling of self-doubt, inadequacy and not feeling good enough, despite the success and accomplishments you’ve actually achieved.

People who suffer from imposter syndrome feel like an imposter despite evidence to the contrary.  Imposters worry that they will be found out as frauds and continually talk about their accomplishments as flukes.

Imposter syndrome can cause people to fixate on their feelings of being a fraud or imposter, rather than focusing on the tangible results they’ve actually achieved.  When you suffer from imposter syndrome it’s easy to lose feelings of self-worth and self-confidence.

7 ways to overcome imposter syndrome 

Here are 7 ways to overcome imposter syndrome.

1. Acknowledge your feelings

The first step to overcoming imposter syndrome is to acknowledge feeling like an imposter so you can understand why you feel that way.  Imposter syndrome is a common experience for many people, so it’s important to understand you’re not the only one feeling this way.

If you feel that no matter how much you do or accomplish you feel like a fraud or an imposter take a step back and acknowledge those feelings.  Get clear on whether those feelings are internally driven or the result of something someone else has said or done.

Clarify why you feel like an imposter, so you can come up with a strategy to overcome imposter syndrome or find a simple coping mechanism.

Become more self-aware and ask yourself “why” questions to diagnose why you feel like an imposter.  This will help you come up with solutions to overcome imposter anxiety.

Read also: 6 habits of self-aware people 

2. Talk about it

One of the simplest ways to overcome imposter syndrome is to talk about your feelings with someone who will make you feel more positive and  self-confident about yourself.

Surrounding yourself with people who remind you of your strengths, celebrate your accomplishments and make you feel more positive will help to stop imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is often an internally driven mindset and feeling.  The key to overcoming imposter syndrome is to surround yourself with supportive people who don’t downplay your abilities and make you feel more comfortable and confident.

People with imposter syndrome often feel out of place or that they don’t belong.  To overcome imposter syndrome, find people who make you feel good about yourself.

3. Set measurable goals 

Many people who suffer with imposter syndrome aren’t clear on their goals.   A lack of goal clarity can lead to self-doubt, lack of direction and low self-esteem.

To overcome imposter syndrome be intentional about setting specific, measurable goals that are important to you.

Goals help you clarify the exact results you want to achieve at a specific date in the future.  Setting goals also gives you a clear success framework to work towards and measure your progress by.

Having goals clearly defines what is important to you and gives you a clear focus.  They also help you measure and celebrate tangible accomplishments and achievements.

People with imposter syndrome often see their successes as a fluke and believe that they’re not the person others perceive them to be.  Setting and achieving the measurable goal you set out to accomplish will help you stop imposter syndrome.

Read also: How to set and achieve goals 

4. Overcome perfectionism 

Many people who struggle with imposter syndrome are perfectionists.  Perfectionists create an ideal in their mind of what a perfect result has to look like and feel like.

If their achievement doesn’t measure up to their vision of perfection, they often feel like a fraud or an imposter.  Perfectionists often feel that they’re not good enough or not the real deal when they achieve a result that is not their definition of perfection.

To overcome imposter syndrome, ditch your perfectionist habits.  Set achievable, measurable goals and focus on the progress you make towards those goals, not perfection.

Read also: 4 simple ways to overcome perfectionism 

5. Focus on results 

Many people who suffer with imposter syndrome live in fear that they will be found out or exposed as a fake.  But, this imposter anxiety is often just an internal feeling rather than the reality.

To overcome imposter syndrome it’s important to focus on tangible results and achievements rather than feelings.  When you achieve the results you set for yourself, you feel more self-confident and accomplished.

So, always celebrate results to stop feeling like an imposter.  To do this, you can keep a journal of all of your accomplishments to refer back to when you feel like an imposter.

You can create a positive affirmation to say to yourself when you feel like an imposter.  Finally, you can reach out to friends or a coach who will be happy to list your accomplishments when you feel like an imposter.

6. Celebrate achievements every day 

People who struggle with imposter syndrome often experience self-doubt and are hyper critical even though they know they are good enough.  To overcome imposter syndrome it’s essential to build up the success habit of valuing yourself and expressing gratitude for what you’ve achieved.

Be intentional about finding time to remind yourself about everything you’re grateful for to remove self-doubt.  When you celebrate accomplishments and express gratitude daily you’ll feel less like a fraud and an imposter.

Try writing down three things each day that build your self-esteem and self-worth.  These could be achievements, goals, or positive things people have said about you.  Use anything that eliminates self-doubt and accentuates the positive.

7. Focus on your strengths 

People with imposter syndrome often focus on their failures and weaknesses, rather than their strengths and successes.  To overcome imposter syndrome spend more time identifying and maximising your strengths.

Get clear on all the things you love to do and are great at to remove feelings of self-doubt and feeling like a fraud.  When you spend more time on the things you’re really good at, you can separate feelings from fact.

Fight the imposter feeling by deciding to be confident and focusing on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses.  If you’re unsure about your biggest strengths ask people close to you to identify them for you.

This insight will give you a boost of self-confidence and self-esteem.  It will also give you a brag sheet to refer back to the next time you feel like an imposter.

Summing up 

People with imposter syndrome suffer from chronic self-doubt and feelings of being a fraud despite their achievements and successes.  If you suffer from imposter syndrome, it’s important to know that you can overcome it.

To overcome imposter syndrome replace your feelings of not being good enough by acknowledging the real results and achievements you’ve made in your life.  Surround yourself with people that give you belief and transform your feelings of inadequacy into feelings of confidence and capability.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What’s the number one cause of imposter syndrome for you?

What’s your best tip to overcome imposter syndrome?

Let me know in the comments.

About the author 

Mark Pettit is an accountability coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK.  He is the founder of accountability coaching company, Lucemi Consulting.

Mark provides accountability coaching programs to entrepreneurs and leaders in London, Essex, Suffolk, East Anglia and across the UK, US and Canada.  

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