What’s going on Trainwrecks? Last week I was on a bit of a hiatus and posting was spotty. I was in Atlanta, Georgia attending my first academic residency! I learned so much about my university, my dissertation process and most importantly about my instructors and peers. I learned we are all the same people, nervous hopefuls who wish to find a higher order of answers to our questions. One of the most important outcomes I experienced at my academic residency one is the courage to overcome my imposter syndrome. Yes Trainwrecks, I experience imposter syndrome so let’s talk about five ways to overcome imposter syndrome.
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Imposter syndrome is defined as “A psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” Imposter syndrome affects every single human being on this planet to varying degrees depending on their abilities and confidence (Horton, 2018). When we accomplish something and do not feel worthy of the accomplishment, we will go as far as making negative excuses regarding these accomplishments like “there must be a mistake” or “the judges or refs were taking it easy on me.” There’s always my favorite statement declaring self-sabotage: “I just got lucky this time.” The reality is that imposter syndrome is really us experiencing the sudden rush of fear and excitement (the two feelings are very closely related) and our bodies struggling to cope with the sudden change in circumstances (Della-Camina, 2018). Depending on how we embrace this sudden rush of energy, we can either be helped or hindered by this sudden event. If we allow doubt to overcome our perception, our perspective will be one of negative self-talk such as “they must not have had anyone better than me” which is wrong. The reality is we are naturally afraid of failure and can typically only deal with achievement in small doses to prevent us from performing self-sabotaging actions designed to return our lives to a familiar state (Legg & Leonard, 2018).
So, here are five ways to deal with Imposter Syndrome:
- Realize imposter syndrome is a part of everyday life. Research dating back to 1978 suggests nearly all human beings experience a level of imposter syndrome from CEOs of Corporations to schoolteachers, we all feel like we are good enough. Once we realize everyone experiences this, we understand it’s a normal part of life (Legg & Leonard, 2018).
- Understand our coping mechanisms. When we realize we do certain things because of the way we feel and what we desire, we can understand them and even overcome them. Part of coping with survivor syndrome will be admitting it’s okay to be full of doubt. It’s okay to not have all the answers.
- Embrace the feeling. That’s right Trainwrecks, a major step in overcoming our imposter syndrome is to simply step into the feelings of doubt and run with our passion. Kicked butt and got a promotion? Move forward and believe you’ve got what it takes to make the next one. Finished well in a marathon? Keep up the hard pace while we train and believe we can do even better. Honestly, the biggest limit is us. The more often we embrace acceptance of who now are (an achiever), the more reinforced our feelings of success will be; and more importantly that we deserve success.
- Push forward. One of the greatest hurdles we experience when dealing with imposter syndrome is our ability to take on new challenges as we continue to fear the reality of failure. While failure is a real possibility, we cannot win a race if we are so overwhelmed by losing that we do not even show up. Even worse, when we win a race and are so overwhelmed with the possibility, we don’t have what it takes to win the next one we refuse to even show up and the race is lost due to non-participation. We must push forward after success to achieve momentum.
- Dare to dream. Dream big and dream wide. Dream of being rich and famous and having a reality tv show. Dream of inventing life-saving technology and changing an entire nation. Dream of starring in an award-winning film and go on to audition for an even bigger one. My point is, by taking ourselves to the next step and daring to dream big we not only have the opportunity to achieve that success, but we have the motivation to elevate ourselves to that level (Leroux & Leroux, 2020).
So, let’s have a discussion! Make sure you smash that LIKE button as you comment below.
- What are some ways you have found to effectively overcome imposter syndrome?
- What are some meditative practices you implement in your daily lives?
Leave your comments below and join in the discussion.
Overcoming imposter syndrome can be difficult but it is entirely possible. Overcoming imposter syndrome has less to do with how others are reacting toward us and more with how we are reacting to ourselves. You are not an imposter. You are genuine and you are worth it.
You’re Welcome. Internet.
Della-Camina, M. (2018). The reality of imposter syndrome. Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/real-women/201809/the-reality-imposter-syndrome
Horton, A. (2018). The Five Types Of Impostor Syndrome And How To Beat Them. Fast Company, Fast Company. Retrieved from www.fastcompany.com/40421352/the-five-types-of-impostor-syndrome-and-how-to-beat-them.
Legg, J. & Leonard, J. (2018). Impostor syndrome: Symptoms, types, and how to deal with it. Medical News Today. Retrieved March 2, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321730
Leroux, K. & Leroux, K. (2020). Impostor Syndrome: What It Is, Do You Have It, and What You Can Do About It #NPCOMMLIFE. Retrieved from https://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/blog/2020/01/27/impostor-syndrome-what-it-is-do-you-have-it-and-what-you-can-do-about-it-npcommlife/