Combatting Imposter Syndrome

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” 

 ­Maya Angelou

I debated heavily what topic I would release this week (hence the late blog post) and after numerous self-debates, I kept returning to this topic- Imposter Syndrome. The first time I ever heard this term was last year and when I first heard it, I assumed the meaning was completely different. I truly thought that Imposter Syndrome meant that someone who suffers from this can appear as an imposter, only to find out, that this term means the complete opposite.

So, you ask, what is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome “can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success” (Overcoming Imposter Syndrome (hbr.org), Corkindale 2008). Any person who suffers from Imposter Syndrome may feel like a fraud, or may feel they are not competent enough to succeed nor worthy enough to enjoy said success.

Some common characteristics of Imposter Syndrome may include:

  • Self-doubt
  • Fear of not living up to expectations
  • Overachieving
  • Inability to assess your competence and skills
  • Crediting your success to external factors
Ever since starting my blog back up this year, while pushing myself to remain consistent with one blog post per week, I find myself struggling with Imposter Syndrome.

If I am being completely transparent, I often wonder if I am good enough. I compare myself to other bloggers, witnessing their success and defining my own failures because of it. I often wonder if others look at me as a fraud. I downplay my success, feeling like I should do more. Be better. Be more successful. I seek validation from others and when I do not receive it, I start to engage in negative self-talk. And while trying to combat these feelings, I have been struggling to stay motivated and inspired. Part of me wants to throw the towel in. However, those who know me, know that I am far from a quitter. I am way too stubborn.

Instead, I aim to combat these feelings. Here’s how:

Break the Silence.

Let’s admit it. Shame will have us all feeling like we cannot openly admit when we are struggling with certain feelings of failure, frustration, or even sadness. Suffering from Imposter Syndrome may bring you feelings of shame, but I can assure you, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Tell a loved one how you are feeling. Be open and honest about these feelings. Acknowledge them and write them down in a journal. Just don’t bury these feelings and let them fester.

Feelings vs. Fact

Are negative feelings consuming you so much that you are starting to believe that these feelings are true? Stop. Breathe. Reevaluate. Often, we allow our emotions to cloud our logic and judgement. Recognize that these feelings are just what they are, feelings, and they do not define your characteristics, skills, or performance.

Progress vs. The ‘Big Picture’

Place your focus on how far you have come. Often, we look at the end goal and feel frustrated that we have not achieved this yet. This can also feel overwhelming as the end goal may seem too ‘big’ or complicated to achieve. Rather than focusing on the big picture, focus on the progress you have made, and the success achieved along the way. Remember, progress over perfection.

Welcome Failure.

Failure should be looked at as a gift, rather than a loss or punishment. Each time we fail, we are given an opportunity to learn from those mistakes, re-strategize, and come back even better! Learn how to celebrate your failure instead of beating yourself up. Growth and evolution are on the other side.

Be Kind to Yourself.

Be your own biggest cheerleader and stop seeking validation from others. Give yourself a pat on the back for all the wins, practice patience and grace when struggling with feelings of failure and inadequacy, and continuously pour love into yourself for the will to keep going. You could give up, but you didn’t and that is a reward in itself.

Photo by Priss Enri on Unsplash

Conclusion

Imposter Syndrome is widespread; it can affect anyone at any given time. If you have been struggling with Imposter Syndrome, I hope you find these tips helpful and feel motivated to combat your own personal feelings of self-doubt. And know that you are doing just fine and more than enough. Sending so much love to you all!

Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome? What are some ways you combat these feelings? I would love to hear from you all! This is a safe place.

Posted by

Like a lotus flower, I emerge from dark, murky waters to reveal my beauty. Feeling and healing on this journey of life; glowing and flowing. I have always loved writing, but it has taken me 29 trips around the sun before I had to confidence to share publicly. I hope my writing, which is near and dear to my heart, sparks light and love in all of you. Make yourself at home and enjoy the ride!

25 thoughts on “Combatting Imposter Syndrome

  1. I personally battle with this a lot. I’m extremely hard on myself. I tend to forget all the progress I made at times & will get frustrated about where I’m not at yet. Thank goodness for great friends who help remind me to look at my progress vs. my perfection. This read was much needed & a great reminder to be more kind to ourselves & to appreciate the process of growth. Love this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I am coming to realize that progress is a form of success. I’m working on acknowledging the small wins more and not focusing so much on the big picture. Of course, we’re human and some days may feel easier to remember this than others but as long as we work on grounding ourselves again, we can dust ourselves off and get back in the ring. Thank you for reading love!

      Like

  2. Wow I didn’t even know this was a term but I def have felt this way many times. I love the tips you give to combat it. I live by my favorite saying “just keep swimming” it helps me to just keep going and not worry so much. Thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really appreciate you writing about this. I have definitely suffered from Imposter Syndrome, whether that be with blogging, getting started in freelance writing, or being a student. I’m really working on changing my expectations and recognizing the progress I’m making along my journey. Much love, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww much love to you too! I know it can feel frustrating dealing with these feelings and often taints the experience of the journey. Sometimes we could all use reminders to just enjoy the process ♥️ you got this!

      Like

  4. I have definitely struggled with imposter syndrome even before I knew it was an actual thing, I have not done so many things that I wanted to out of fear of failure and fear of what others will think or say. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I have started trying to break out of that mindset. It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one that struggles with doubts and insecurities! This is a great article, thank you so much for posting it. I love your advice about welcoming failure and seeing it as an opportunity for growth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you were able to receive from this! ♥️ Imposter Syndrome can really be a sucky feeling and it takes constant reminders and self-reassurance to realize that what you are doing is more than enough. I’m learning to celebrate the small wins along the way and enjoy the process. Thank you for reading!

      Like

  5. For ages I thought Imposter Syndrome meant something completely different to what it actually means! I definitely suffer from Imposter Syndrome when it comes to self-doubt – particularly in relation to work/careers. I’m so guilty of telling myself that I’m not right for a job or thinking I don’t have the skillset for something before actually even applying for a job. It’s something I need to work on for sure! x

    https://www.femaleoriginal.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, definitely should place your focus on improving on that! You never know what kind of job you can land if you just put yourself out there and try. Thank you for reading ♥️

      Like

  6. Angie, this is such a great and informative post. I think you touched on a relevant topic that does not get much exposure. Until very recently, I have never heard the term Imposer Syndrome before. This post helped me understand it much more. As a writer and a blogger, sharing this insight with your audience is important because I think many people who view your content can relate to what you said. You offered amazing tops about it as well, I’m happy I gave this a read! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you were able to receive something from this post! I have been struggling so much with Imposter Syndrome, I felt it was important to write a post to let others know they are not alone and we can combat by just being a little kinder to ourselves. Thank you so much for reading!

      Like

  7. I had no idea about this, and yet, I think everyone has suffered from this from one time or another. Thank you for sharing, it’s certainly good to know so we can step back and realize, hey it’s not me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Social media plays a HUGE part, for sure! It’s quite sad because it’s hard not to compare yourself to others when you’re constantly exposed to the life events of others that seem borderline perfect. It’s easy to forget that these images are filtered in many ways, literally and metaphorically. Thank you so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing. The “feelings aren’t facts” is a good outlook to take with imposter syndrome, as it places doubt on the validity of your self-talk.

    Also welcoming failure is good – as that is difference between someone who is confident and isn’t. A confident person in failure will use this as an opportunity to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never heard of this before until now. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this topic. You are a strong willed person and not a quitter, you get things done. You my love are an inspiration! 💜

    Like

  10. I definitely suffered from this at the beginning with my blog, I use to compare myself to other bloggers and was close to throwing in the towel. Really liked the tips you mentioned, I’ve been focusing on the progress and how far I’ve come. Since that, I’ve been very comfortable with my blogging journey. Great post! 😊

    Like

  11. I heard about Imposter syndrome too, but never knew what exactly it is. Your post is informative as it is coming out of your own experience. I am glad that you know how to navigate your feelings and what to do about them. Kindness, accepting failure, acknowledging yourself, and opening up to your loved ones are some great tips.

    Thanks for sharing your personal experience.

    Like

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