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How to deal with impostor syndrome?

5 August 2022

Most of us have experienced a feeling of doubt and not being good enough at least once in our lives. But when those thoughts are intrusive and you don’t feel adequate even though you have put in the hard work, preparation and knowledge… that means you are suffering from impostor syndrome.

Impostor syndrome can hit anyone. The people who suffer from it are smart, very capable professionals who have worked hard to get where they are now. But for whatever reason, they don’t believe they deserve any of it and doubt their capabilities. They live in constant fear that they will be ‘exposed’ as if somehow, they tricked every one of their accomplishments.

Here are few tips how you can handle impostor syndrome

Know the signs

There isn’t a single sign or clear cause of imposter feelings. Rather it’s a number of factors you can look for.

Having perfectionist tendencies or parents who have pressured you to do well in school, compared you to peers and sharply criticized mistakes, those are all factors that can lead to impostor syndrome.

Suffering from a mental illness can also be impactful. For example, having social anxiety and impostor syndrome can lead to believing you don’t belong in social or performance situations. Every time you are socializing, you get the feeling that the person you are speaking to is going to find out your social incompetence and show everyone else you are a ‘fraud’.

This does not mean everyone who experiences impostor syndrome also suffers from social anxiety.

How to cope

Impostor syndrome is nothing but a voice in our heads filling our brain with negative thoughts. Negative self-talk is a bad habit which can lead to increased anxiety levels.

One approach can be to change the negative wording into a positive one. Every time when experiencing intrusive thoughts, to look yourself and say only what you love about yourself and how proud of your accomplishments you are.

Often when this syndrome has struck us, is when we don’t feel prepared for what’s about to come and fear the unexpected. This raises our anxiety and we wonder if we have what it takes to overcome the situation. This can be improved by saying ‘yes’ to new opportunities and experiences. Your mindset grows more and more and your stress levels are lower. As you have faced more challenges, you see yourself in a new light and find out you are more capable than you think.

We are not sure if this feeling ever goes fully away, but what we can say for sure is that it can definitely be muted and lowered. Remember that every time you hear an intrusive thought pop into your head, you have the power to stop, take a deep breath and remind yourself that it is not true. Be present!

How to cope

travel blog, impostor syndrome signs, how to cope, sofia, bulgaria, worknomads

Impostor syndrome is nothing but a voice in our heads filling our brain with negative thoughts. Negative self-talk is a bad habit which can lead to increased anxiety levels.

One approach can be to change the negative wording into a positive one. Every time when experiencing intrusive thoughts, to look yourself and say only what you love about yourself and how proud of your accomplishments you are.

Often when this syndrome has struck us, is when we don’t feel prepared for what’s about to come and fear the unexpected. This raises our anxiety and we wonder if we have what it takes to overcome the situation. This can be improved by saying ‘yes’ to new opportunities and experiences. Your mindset grows more and more and your stress levels are lower. As you have faced more challenges, you see yourself in a new light and find out you are more capable than you think.

We are not sure if this feeling ever goes fully away, but what we can say for sure is that it can definitely be muted and lowered. Remember that every time you hear an intrusive thought pop into your head, you have the power to stop, take a deep breath and remind yourself that it is not true. Be present!

If you continue to struggle with impostor feelings, a therapist can offer support.

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