“There are still days I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.” - Sheryl Sandberg
Over the last weeks, I have been pondering on my struggle to accept that my success is earned and that I deserve to be where I am today. I had heard of the "imposter syndrome," but I didn't think that was what I was experiencing. I started digging deeper into this exciting topic and learned great insights that I would like to share. Especially as we prepare for the greatness that lies ahead of us, it is essential to be equipped to overcome imposter syndrome.
This blog post is written from the perspective of someone who suffers from Imposter syndrome wanting to help others like me. We will explore the definition, signs as well as tips to overcome imposter syndrome. For some useful resources to equip yourself, refer to the "Great Resources" section. We can only take our place in this world and enjoy where we are when we accept that we deserve the good things.
What does Imposter syndrome mean?
How to tell if you have imposter syndrome?
How to overcome Imposter syndrome
Tip 1: Own your accomplishments
You did it! We need to get into the habit of celebrating our accomplishments. Growing up in Nigeria, people were often labeled as proud or pompous if they spoke about their achievements. This is something I have been working very hard at unlearning. Feeling a sense of accomplishments is needed for healthy self-esteem. Focus on what you have accomplished and not what you expect to have achieved. I have come to value my accomplishment log as it helps remind me of all that I have accomplished when I start doubting myself.
Tip 2: Stop comparing yourself to others
When we start doubting ourselves and our accomplishments, the first place we go is to start comparing ourselves to others. We tend to view other's success as more significant, or think they are more deserving than we are. Your accomplishments are significant and deserve to be acknowledged. Stop trying to lessen the impact of the work you put in.
Tip 3: Find mentors and a support group
It is important to get comfortable talking to people you trust about your feelings. Sharing your insecurities can be an essential step to overcoming your imposter syndrome. There are many women out there like you doubting themselves. Imagine the strength we can find in confiding in trusted people and accepting their commitment to support us on our journey. Also, surrounding yourself with other people who are comfortable with celebrating their accomplishments will begin to rub off on you.
Tip 4: Accept positive feedback
Are you that person that can't take a compliment or positive feedback? Do you find yourself thinking people feel obliged to compliment you and don't mean it? Hearing people confirm your accomplishments and embodying it helps overcome imposter syndrome. It is often much easier for us to accept negative feedback than positive because we don't feel like we deserve the kind words people say to us. If you are tempted to shoot down a compliment, remember you earned it.
Tip 5: Think about set-backs differently
When we experience some setbacks, it might be easy to beat ourselves up and doubt our previous successes. Will you be where you are today if you didn't face some failures along the way? Seeing setbacks that you face as learning experiences and not the end of your story will help you bounce back and feel confident again.
Tip 6: Keep working on it
It takes continuous work and effort to overcome imposter syndrome. As you experience more success in life, you may have even more self-doubt. Remember the techniques that work for you and get to work. Keep aspiring for more and exploring new ways to celebrate your accomplishments.