Surviving and Thriving through Impostor Syndrome

Do you have a tiny voice in your head that constantly calls you a fraud with only lies to back up its claims. Telling you that everything you have was unearned and you’re not that knowledgeable? That you only got where you’re at because of luck or circumstances. It can even tell you that you’re not worthy of love from God or your fellow human beings?

Congratulations, you may be suffering or on the brink of getting Impostor Syndrome!

So what is this syndrome? As I described above, the syndrome occurs when a person starts to become really successful and has doubts that their success is legitimate. What separates this from the usual doubts is that it’s not true. (For a more detailed look into the syndrome, check out Cal Tech’s website. )

Now you’re probably wondering how to avoid or survive when the syndrome strikes. While I don’t have all the answers, these are some of the ways that I have coped when I feel doubts coming on:

  1. Practice confidence without the pride.
  2. Don’t compare yourselves to other. The fastest way to feeling like an impostor is to compare yourself to others.
  3. Give yourself a break once in a while. If you can, try and take a self-care moment and do something you love not related to your doubts. It could be reading, dancing, or hanging out with friends.
  4. Listen to the people who care enough to critique you. They’re the ones who will tell it like it is but aren’t doing it to be petty or to build themselves up. They’re also the ones most likely to tell you that you’re better than what your own thoughts leave you to believe.
  5. If you really think you’re not that good, fix it. Learn new skills while keeping your old skills sharp. Not only will you improve, but you won’t have time to contemplate whether that voice is true or not.
  6. Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. Whatever your circumstances, you’re here now and God won’t let you handle anything He doesn’t think you can.

In short, it’s okay to toot your horn once in a while and shout to the world that your accomplishments were earned. Always have a support group that doesn’t enable, but encourage you to succeed and celebrates your successes.  If it gets to rough, talk to a counselor about it.

Now I want to hear from y’all. Do you think Impostor Syndrome applies to you or someone you know? How do you cope with it? Please let me know in the comments.

 

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