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16 July 2021

Five tips on how to get over imposter syndrome

Jairek Robbins

Imposter syndrome is one of the most dangerous things to a person’s self-esteem.

Someone who suffers from it would feel like they are not qualified to fill the shoes of a given task and be easily intimidated by superiors. This could lead them to underperform in their duties, or worse, abandon them altogether out of fear that they might be revealed as an “impostor” at any time.

Imposter syndrome can be debilitating, but fortunately, there are ways to get over it.

Here are five tips for people who want to get over feeling like an impostor.

1. Set realistic expectations for yourself

In his book, The Expert Mind, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Keith E. Stanovich notes that “Those who are more knowledgeable act less like experts.”

In other words, having a firm grasp on reality can cure you of the delusion that you know everything there is to know about your field or occupation.  When you realize how much you don’t know, you will be more likely to accept that you are a credible expert with the things you do know.

2. Realize that it’s not about who you are — it’s about what you do

Plain and simple: your work is what matters. If someone tells you that you’re a good editor, writer, or marketer, take their word for it. Don’t doubt your abilities simply because you don’t meet some unattainable standard of being the “perfect” person in that position.

3. Be grateful for what you’ve accomplished so far, and get excited about what’s to come

It is natural to be disappointed when we fail to achieve a goal; however, it’s easy to see how much progress you have made if you look at what you’ve already done.

Things are never as bad as they seem. The sooner you realize this, the sooner your self-doubt will dissipate.

4. Relax, breathe and practice mindfulness

Taking deep breaths has a few benefits: it can slow you down, increase the oxygen supply to your brain, and lower your heart rate. This will give your body time to absorb what is happening around you to not react from fear or adrenaline. Being mindful of these things allows us to respond thoughtfully.

5. Surround yourself with people you like and admire

Often, imposter syndrome tends to make us withdraw from society — it’s one of the reasons we end up feeling lonely despite our vast network of “friends.” However, suppose you surround yourself with people who have your best interest at heart. In that case, you’ll find that you’ll become more comfortable around others, which will inevitably lead to tremendous success in different aspects of your life.

The key to getting over imposter syndrome is realizing that everyone has insecurities — even those who seem confident and secure in themselves. If you can look past the surface and realize that your anxiety is not unique, you will be able to manage your feelings of inadequacy more effectively.

Imposter syndrome is a severe issue, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. If you want to get over imposter syndrome, now is the time.

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