Some experts may give tips for overcoming imposter syndrome, but the truth is that imposter syndrome stays with you. Rather than trying to banish it, you’re much more quickly rewarded when you learn to shake hands with your inner imposter and work alongside it. Here’s how to stop worrying, quit the stress at work, and embrace your imposter syndrome with amazing results.
How Does Imposter Syndrome Benefit You?
Imposter syndrome isn’t a bad thing. In fact, research suggests people in leadership roles who struggle with their inner imposter have a healthy dose of humility, keeping them from becoming too egocentric. There’s also evidence that imposter syndrome helps you define your boundaries and encourages you to look externally for guidance when you really need it.
The discomfort you feel from imposter syndrome can also be a guiding light. When you’re feeling challenged, it’s often a sign that you’re on the right track for a breakthrough. As hard as it is, when you chase those feelings of discomfort, you’re also putting yourself in the position to grow, adapt, find creative solutions, and reach new highs.
It’s also worth noting that connecting with your inner imposter can help you define your authentic self. You can use those self-criticisms to check yourself – what are your real strengths and weaknesses? Once you become more in tune with what you’re bringing to the table, you can show up more authentically and confidently. Plus, as someone who struggles with imposter syndrome, you’re also far more likely to be empathetic with others, which can boost your business relationships.
5 Simple Steps to Embracing Your Inner Imposter
1. Flip the Script
Take a moment and listen to your inner dialogue. What story are you telling yourself? Are you thinking that you don’t deserve success? That you’re not smart enough? Maybe you’re feeling afraid people will find out that you have no idea what you’re doing. Acknowledge these thoughts, then reframe them.
For example, “I’m excited to learn more about this and I’m working on becoming the expert.” Or, instead of telling yourself you don’t deserve success, say, “I’ve worked really hard to get to this point. I have a track record of success and I am looking forward to building on it.” By doing this, you change your thinking, stop worrying, and put yourself in the mental space to move forward instead of shrinking away from the challenge.
2. Calm the Body
When you feel worried or stressed, your body physically reacts whether there’s a real threat or not. Your sympathetic nervous system triggers the fight or flight response, which is why your heart rate increases and you feel on edge. You might notice that your palms are sweaty or your stomach feels sick. All of these physical sensations can serve to make you feel even more worried and uncomfortable, but you can also reign these feelings in.
Take time out. Focus on your breath by counting to five as you breathe in, holding the breath for five seconds, then counting to five as you breathe out. Repeat this a few times through. Then focus on your senses. Name five things you can see, smell, hear, feel, and taste. By concentrating on the present moment, you can let go of those stressful thoughts, calm the physical body down, and then recenter yourself.
3. Get Crystal Clear On Your Fears
Imposter syndrome can feel like a whirlwind of fear, which often comes in the form of generalised concerns. Tune in to your inner impostor – what are they saying? They might be feeding you fears like, “You have no idea what you’re doing, so you’re going to do everything wrong. You’ve failed in the past so you’ll fail now.” Those are general statements. Instead, you need to drill down to the real, specific fear. Perhaps it’s really something like “I’m afraid I won’t make enough sales this month to pay my bills.”
Now that’s a fear you can work with. You can set clear expectations around what you need to do to move forward. How much do you need to earn to pay the bills? How far off are you from it at this point? How many sales do you need to make each day to hit a bare minimum goal? Make a plan to get yourself there so you can get out of worry mode and into action mode.
4. Focus on the Outcome
Instead of thinking of all the things that can go wrong, visualise your own success. Ask yourself, “What if everything turns out the way I want it to?” Then, imagine that scenario playing out. Focusing your attention on things going well can help keep you calm, cool, and collected.
5. Talk It Out
You might be telling yourself some truly ridiculous things. Since imposter syndrome comes from a place of shame, it’s tempting to keep these feelings inside. However, when you share them with others, you’ll likely find that they sound a little silly once spoken out loud. You’ll likely also find that you’re not alone – other people, even those closest to you, have similar feelings. Once you talk about how you’re feeling, you offload some of that loneliness, stop worrying, and start to take action.
Do you struggle with imposter syndrome? Do you work yourself up with stress at work? I can help. I work with my clients to help them boost consistency, efficiency, predictability, and profitability. How? I help them stop worrying and take action in terms of time management, planning, goal setting, and more. Check out my services here or feel free to reach out here to learn more.