How to recognize and heal impostor syndrome

You have some goals you’d like to accomplish. Some big ideas. A few exciting possibilities.

But every time you start to step into the spotlight, you feel completely overwhelmed by the opportunity in front of you.

You want to believe that your dreams are possible, but you don’t know why this keeps happening to you.

The first step to figuring out how to get unstuck, is learning how to recognize impostor syndrome.

Here are some of the characteristics you may  experience when you suffer from impostor syndrome:

You…
…fear being exposed as a fraud
…doubt your own accomplishments 
…feel like you don’t belong
…believe that everything that I want to do has already been done by someone else so you don’t have anything to offer
…think that your thoughts and experiences aren’t good enough to share
…allow outside influences to validate your worth …fear failure
…are paralyzed by perfectionism

Does any of this sound familiar? Are you running away from the very things you say you want because you feel like an impostor?

If so, here are several ways to heal the impostor syndrome that will keep you going nowhere.

1. Recognize the root cause and then release it

Experiencing impostor syndrome can be the cause of a variety of past thoughts and feelings, especially those that made you feel uncomfortable, ashamed or hurt in one way or another. By recognizing when this is happening, you can stop the cycle of discomfort, shame or pain and begin to release these root causes and make progress toward your goals. You can write down your thoughts and feelings, talk about them with a trusted friend or mentor or simply say out loud, I recognize your presence and I am releasing you so that I can experience what I desire.

2. Practice accepting your mistakes

You will make mistakes. So what?! Making mistakes helps you figure out what works for you, and what you’re trying to accomplish, and what doesn’t. Accept the mistakes as a part of your journey and always look for the lesson that each mistake brings.
Becoming comfortable with your mistakes, instead of allowing them to become stop signs, or even stumbling blocks, will remind you that you’re not faking it, or being an impostor, you’re working through the process toward becoming and achieving what you want.

3. Keep track of your compliments

When you need to remind yourself of who you are, how you’re helping the world and what you’ve already accomplished, taking a look at any compliments you’ve received can help.

There’s nothing like receiving a message from a reader, a client or a friend who decided to take the time to let me know that they appreciate my work and how it’s helping them. Those compliments will help energize you and remind you that you’re not an impostor at all. You are someone doing work in the world that matters.

4. Realize that not knowing something doesn’t make you an impostor. It makes you a student.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase fake it til you make it. The challenge with that is, it sets you up to feel like a fraud from the very start. And you’re not a fraud, or an impostor. You are showing up for your life and your goals, and you recognize that there are many unknowns ahead of you.

Asking questions, stating that you don’t know everything but will give it your all, not giving into comparison and learning all you can in the process will help to shrink those feelings of impostor syndrome.

We all start somewhere. You may not know as much as those you’ve surrounded yourself with. You may have some weaknesses. Your voice may crack when you try to speak. Your work might even need work. But keep going!!!

You are not an impostor. You are an amazing creation full of greatness and possibility and you’re going to explore all this adventure has to offer.


Tell me in the comments below. Have you ever struggled with impostor syndrome? What were you trying to do when you experienced impostor-like feelings?

Author: traciebraylock

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