How to Overcome Your Imposter Syndrome
Everyone feels it at some point in their professional, and personal lives. It starts as a whisper (“Who am I?”) and sometimes it builds to a demand for attention (“No! You are NOT qualified!”).
When you’re trying something new or stepping into a new role, the feeling of being a fraud, aka imposter syndrome, is common.
This is not coincidental. The reason imposter syndrome can get so uncomfortable is because when we’re attempting to do something new, we are afraid we’ll be exposed as a newbie. But for good reason!
We are all newbies at some point. We crawl before we walk. But the feeling of being exposed as new can actually feel dangerous on a deeper level. It can feel like everyone is about to find out that you are not who you say you are. That can be terrifying.
This can happen regularly, especially if you’re constantly learning new things and growing in your life. (Which we highly recommend, by the way!)
Imposter syndrome is actually a great sign that you’re reaching for new heights. Of course, it’s healthy to question your own skills and qualifications, but at some point, it can cause analysis paralysis.
The best way to get rid of your imposter syndrome when it’s holding you back is to boost your confidence.
Some of our TaskHuman providers share 5 sure-fire tips to boosting your confidence and getting rid of your imposter syndrome for good.
Tip #1: Have fun.
Doing something that you consider fun will naturally translate into confidence. We’ve all got skills, we’re all experts at something. And the quickest way to prove this to yourself in the moment is by something you do often for fun. The fun experience will translate into confidence.
Here’s how coach Ariel Hoffman explains it.
Tip #2: Make a list.
First, stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Then, make a list of everything you’ve already accomplished in your life. This will be a great reminder of your capability and replace your negative thoughts with what’s true.
See how coach Jean Sheridan explains why this works.
Tip #3: Face your fears.
Take some time to really look at your fears. Then, challenge the validity of those actual fears. In other words, invite that imposter syndrome over for tea. Investigate where your fears are really coming from. Consider whether or not they are YOUR fears or perhaps something that you’ve learned to fear. Sometimes, our fears are part of stories we hold onto from our past. Make the time to take a deeper look at the fears that come up and you’ll often find that they’re not always based on reality.
Coach Alice Cameron discusses why this is important.
Tip #4: Say YES!
What if you were constantly learning new things? If you make a conscious effort to say “yes” to learning new things without pressure, you’ll naturally grow in ways you don’t expect. Over time, this will help build your confidence, and in exchange, you’ll have more to challenge your fear with when that imposter syndrome creeps up.
Take it from coach Jamie Carroll.
Tip #5: Refocus.
One of the quickest ways to get out of your own way when imposter syndrome comes up is to refocus your thoughts. That might mean knowing you’re afraid, feeling paralyzed or even unprepared. Deciding to refocus your thoughts will quickly bring you back to what you know.
Here’s a great tip from coach Anita Steele.
BONUS! Get a witness.
There’s nothing better than partnering with an expert when it comes to building your confidence and crushing that imposter syndrome. Talking with someone—like a TaskHuman coach—asking them questions, having them listen to you deeply, and even hearing yourself share your thoughts out loud can be incredibly illuminating.
Tons of TaskHuman pros are available now for 1-on-1 live video calls to help you boost your confidence and squash your self-doubt.