Everyone you know has, at some point in their lives, wrestled with imposter syndrome. Whether you’re standing up on stage to deliver a keynote speech, or simply applying for a new job, it’s easy to feel like you’re not quite enough. Social media hasn’t helped – all we see is highlight reels of people’s achievements. And while this can be really inspiring and motivating, it can also lead us to feel like we don’t really belong, and that any minute, we’ll be found out and unmasked as an imposter.
If you’re feeling some imposter syndrome bubbling up, there are a number of easy steps you can take to make sure it doesn’t get the better of you. First of all, we want to figure out why imposter syndrome is coming out to play. Grab a journal and note down your feelings, which makes it easier for you to analyse them and work out the root cause. Ask yourself when these feelings first arose, and if they were triggered by something in particular. Maybe you’ve got a big presentation at work that you’re nervous about? Maybe you’re planning to tell your clients that you’re raising your rates? There might not even have been a particular trigger – imposter syndrome can arise at any time.
Once you’ve noticed the feeling, follow these tips from some of the most inspiring women we know (who, you guessed it, experience imposter syndrome from time to time too!).
“My way out of impostor syndrome is continually going back to my why and intentions. When I check back in on who T F I am and W T F I’m here to do, it helps diminish those voices of mine that question or doubt me.” Vix Meldrew, founder of Grow and Glow
Ellie Austin Williams
“Keep a note on your phone or in a notebook of your achievements. Jot down things that you’ve done that you’re proud of, jobs you’ve worked on, clients that you’ve had great feedback from, quotes from clients. Keep a record of all the great things that you’ve done so you’ve got a record to go back to and refer to if you’re feeling that imposter syndrome rising. If you’re feeling wobbly, you can go back and remind yourself of how great you are.” Ellie Austin Williams, founder of This Girl Talks Money
“Be honest and consider if your feelings of inadequacy are rooted in reality. Could you improve your skills by reading a book? Watching a webinar? Taking a course? Investing small amounts of time in boosting your learning can give you that proof you need to feel worthy of your success. It’s also a good idea to be open about your feelings of imposter syndrome with friends or people in your industry. You’ll be surprised how many highly qualified people feel the same way, which can act as an important reminder that the way you feel is normal and not reflective of your true abilities.” Fiona Thomas, writer and author of Depression in a Digital Age and Out of Office
“When in doubt, recentre yourself. Stop for a moment and pause all the things you’ve been juggling. Take the time and space to really get to know yourself, and identify your strengths (USP!). Then, keep learning and improving them along with building your business.
Also, collect testimonials and use feedback for development. Recognise your successes by documenting your wins and have a look at them whenever you feel down or that you’re not good enough. Remember you have proof to the contrary – a glowing review from a client, positive comments from someone in your IG community, cheerful feedback from a business partner. This will help you to stop self-doubt, bring back a smile to your face, and boost your motivation!” Kim Darragon, marketing consultant and founder of Kim Does Marketing
“Imposter syndrome is something I will always struggle with, so for me right now, it’s about managing it rather than eradicating it. Something that really helps me is pretending that I’m the only person that exists who does what I do (graphic design). It’s so easy to think everyone else is doing better, but if you have the mindset that you’re the only one that exists then you can’t compare. It’s also important to acknowledge praise. Buy a notebook, and add in any kind words you’ve received at work or in your personal life. Looking back at it can be a great way to boost yourself when experiencing a bout of imposter syndrome.” Sinead Taylor, graphic designer at Sinead Taylor Design
“Your state of being dictates the results you get. You are the cause — not the effect. In short, if you believe you are an imposter, then your thoughts, feelings and actions will create scenarios in which you are – or at least feel you are! Change your state of being by identifying how you would be showing up if you felt you belonged.” Chloe Slade, founder of Vibe & Flow
If you’ve followed these tips from our favourite experts but still need a helping hand, why not get in touch for a chat?