5 signs of Imposter Syndrome & 6 ways to combat it

Imposter Syndrome is the persistent inability to believe that your success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of your own efforts or skills.

The signs of imposter syndrome

  1. Feeling that overworking is the only way to meet expectations.

  2. Feeling unworthy of attention or affection.

  3. Downplaying accomplishments and crediting luck instead of your hard work and dedication.

  4. Holding back from reaching attainable goals due to your fear of being seen as a failure.

  5. A general feeling of not belonging.

Look, we all have our inner critics speak up at the most inopportune times. Now let’s dive into tips to SILENCE it!

Name that stupid inner voice

It’s not you. Mine’s called Evila (and we talk about that bitch a lot here).

Naming your inner voice is a psychological technique that can help you gain control over your thoughts and emotions. It’s a way of externalizing the voice, making it easier to observe, confront, and manage. When you give your inner voice a name, you’re acknowledging that it’s not the entirety of who you are but a part of your mind that can sometimes offer unhelpful or negative perspectives.

Negative thoughts can lead to harmful behaviors (hello low self-esteem!). They can distort your perception of reality, making things seem worse than they are. Here’s how these techniques work together: By naming your inner voice (say, “The Critic”), you can start to separate yourself from the negativity it sometimes brings.

So when a negative thought like “I’ll never be good at this” arises, you can say, “That’s The Critic talking, not me. I may need more practice, but with time and effort, I can improve.” This approach helps foster resilience, improve mental health, and promote a more balanced and positive outlook on life.

Remember that severe or persistent negative thoughts might require help from a mental health professional.

Stop negative talk with reactive affirmations

Reactive affirmations are a type of affirmation used in response to specific situations or feelings. They are often used as a tool in cognitive behavioral therapy and other types of psychological treatment to help individuals change negative thought patterns into positive ones.

For example, if someone tends to think “I’m not good enough” when they make a mistake, a reactive affirmation could be “I am human and humans make mistakes. I am still worthy and capable.”

These affirmations are called “reactive” because they are used in reaction to specific thoughts or feelings, rather than being repeated on a regular basis like traditional affirmations. They can be very effective for individuals who struggle with self-esteem or negative thinking patterns (I’m looking at you Evila!).

Celebrate your wins!

SIT IN YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

We can’t wallow over our mistakes for years and only celebrate our wins with a dinner. Celebrating your wins, big or small, is vital for several reasons. Recognizing your accomplishments can boost your self-confidence and motivation.

When you see the fruits of your labor, it encourages you to keep pushing forward. Also – celebrating success acts as a form of positive reinforcement. It helps reinforce the behavior that led to the achievement, making it more likely that you’ll repeat it in the future.

Need another reason? It aids in combating negative emotions and thoughts.

It’s a way to remind yourself of your abilities and strengths, which can improve your overall mental wellbeing. Recognizing your accomplishments can help foster a growth mindset, too. This view creates a love for learning and resilience, essential for great accomplishment. And lastly, celebrations can break up the routine and create a more dynamic, enjoyable working environment. Remember, celebrating doesn’t always mean throwing a party or spending money.

Use social media with a purpose

And this is coming from a creator on IG! This will reduce your comparison game. Using social media for a purpose is crucial.

Social media platforms are designed to connect people, facilitating communication globally, BUT social media often showcases idealized versions of reality, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem (no bueno). People may compare their lives to the seemingly perfect ones they see online and feel that they don’t measure up. Seeing others’ activities and experiences can lead to a fear of missing out (hello FOMO), causing anxiety and feelings of loneliness or exclusion.

So – use social media for a purpose and do NOT doom scroll.

Be okay with mistakes! We all make them.

Mistakes are often the best teachers. They provide valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t, helping us to improve and grow. If we’re afraid of making mistakes, we’re less likely to take risks or try new things. Innovation and creativity thrive when we’re willing to experiment and potentially fail. 

Own your journey. None of ours look the same.

Pretend someone is doing a documentary on you and make sure a viewer looks at your journey and says, “Mkaaaaaay. That person made it through some shit, and look at them now.”

Ask for help, like hiring a coach

There is nothing better than an objective outside voice helping you recognize and guide you toward reducing your imposter syndrome. Others can provide a more objective perspective on your achievements and abilities. They can help you see that your self-doubts are not reflective of your actual competence.

Impostor syndrome can lead to feelings of isolation, as you might feel that you’re the only one dealing with these issues. Talking about it reduces this isolation and can create a sense of community and understanding.

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This website provides educational content for educational purposes. The information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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