You’re No Fraud: A Deep Dive into Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

Feeling like a fraud despite having done nothing wrong is a common syndrome that affects many people. This sense of inadequacy and fear of being exposed can plague anyone, regardless of where they are or what they have accomplished. This feeling of betraying those around us and constantly comparing ourselves to others is known as impostor syndrome.

Impostor syndrome is especially prevalent among high achievers, with an estimated 70 percent of the population experiencing these feelings of fraudulence at some point in their lives. However, it is rarely discussed, as most people choose to hide these feelings unless they feel safe enough to confide in someone.

While advice like “be yourself” is often given, it doesn't resonate with those suffering from impostor syndrome. The first step to overcoming these feelings is awareness. Once a person is aware of their feelings and mindset, they can start to address them.

If you or someone you know is dealing with impostor syndrome, here are some steps you can take to help alleviate the anxiety associated with it.

Open Up About It

The first step in overcoming impostor syndrome is to talk about it. If you're struggling, confide in a trusted friend or health professional. If someone you know is suffering, be there to listen and understand.

People with impostor syndrome often emotionally isolate themselves due to fear of being exposed. However, it's impossible to address a problem that isn't acknowledged, so talking about it is crucial.

Educate Yourself

Impostor syndrome was first identified by Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in the 1970s. Recent research classifies it as a psychological phenomenon triggered by external circumstances rather than a mental health disorder.

Understanding what impostor syndrome is can help reduce fear and worry. This knowledge can also help you consciously address your mindset and reflect on your emotions and behaviors.

Challenge Negative Thinking

Negative thoughts can trigger and intensify feelings of impostorism. Keep track of your inner voice and thought patterns, and challenge them. If your self-talk is negative, correct it. If you're comparing yourself to others, stop. If you're aiming for perfection, let go and appreciate your efforts. Changing negative thought patterns is key to overcoming impostor syndrome.

Document Your Achievements

It can be hard for those with impostor syndrome to acknowledge their own successes. To counter this, keep a record of your accomplishments. This can provide tangible evidence to remind you of your achievements when you're doubting yourself.

Impostor syndrome can make it hard to realize and accept your own abilities. Remember, you are capable and often stronger than you think. You're a force to be reckoned with, and you need to start believing in yourself.

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