Imposter syndrome is a syndrome most of us know well. Even Albert Einstein experienced a loud inner critic.
That said, it’s a psychological phenomenon that affects women in a particular way.
It’s a feeling of self-doubt and inadequacy, despite a lot of evidence to the contrary, which can lead women to question their abilities and accomplishments.
Imposter syndrome can be a significant barrier to success, as it can hold women back from taking on new challenges and opportunities.
However, there are seven ways that women can silence the imposter syndrome voice and overcome these feelings of self-doubt.
The good news is once you vanquish imposter syndrome once, it becomes easier to do the next time.
1. Acknowledge Your Achievements
One of the most effective ways to silence the imposter syndrome voice is to acknowledge your achievements. It’s easy to dismiss your accomplishments and attribute them to luck or external factors.
However, it’s essential to recognize that your success is a result of your hard work and talent. Take time to reflect on your achievements, write them down (and keep this list handy), and celebrate them.
Recognizing your accomplishments can help you build confidence and reduce feelings of self-doubt.
2. Understand that Everyone Makes Mistakes
Another way to overcome imposter syndrome is to understand that everyone makes mistakes.
No one is perfect, and everyone has experienced failures and setbacks. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one who is struggling, but this is simply not true. Everyone faces challenges and obstacles, and it’s how you respond to these challenges that matters.
Instead of dwelling on your mistakes, focus on what you can learn from them and how you can use these experiences to grow and improve.
3. Identify Your Strengths
It’s also important to identify your strengths and focus on them. Imposter syndrome can make it easy to overlook your strengths and focus on your weaknesses. This traps you in a severely unbalanced view of yourself. One that is not accurate nor truthful.
By identifying your strengths and building on them, you can increase your confidence and reduce feelings of self-doubt. Take time to reflect on your skills and abilities. You have them in abundance. Identify areas where you excel.
Use these strengths to your advantage, and seek out opportunities that allow you to showcase your abilities.
This is how many people have gone on to build side hustles. So identifying your strengths could silence the imposter syndrome voice and open up a lucrative channel for you.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Comparing yourself to others is a common trap that many women fall into.
It’s easy to look at others and feel like you’re not measuring up.
The truth is each of us is running our own race. Therefore, this type of thinking is not productive and can lead to feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on your own journey and accomplishments. Remember that everyone has their own path, and what works for someone else may not work for you.
Focus on your own goals and work towards them at your own pace.
5. Surround Yourself with Supportive People
Don’t underestimate just how impactful the community we surround ourselves with is in our lives.
Surrounding yourself with supportive people can also help you overcome imposter syndrome. Having a strong support system, who act as cheerleaders, can provide you with the encouragement and motivation you need to pursue your goals.
Seek out mentors and colleagues who can provide you with guidance and support. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your abilities, and who can help you build confidence and reduce feelings of self-doubt.
6. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
It’s freeing to realize we can’t always trust what our thoughts tell us.
Overcome imposter syndrome by challenging your negative thoughts. Imposter syndrome is often fueled by negative self-talk and internalized beliefs about yourself.
The truth is, these thoughts are not based on reality, and challenging them can help you overcome imposter syndrome.
When you notice negative thoughts creeping in, take a moment to question them. (The key here is to develop the awareness to pause when the problematic thoughts arise.)
Ask yourself if they’re based on evidence or if they’re simply assumptions. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations and focus on your strengths and accomplishments.
7. Take Action
Finally, taking action is essential for overcoming imposter syndrome just as it’s the antidote to fear.
It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and indecision, but taking action can help break this cycle. Instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity, take action towards your goals.
Imposter syndrome is no match for you once you get moving!
About the Author
Lisa Mckenna is founder of McKenna & Co Solicitors and a practicing solicitor. In this guest article, she speaks on how imposter syndrome can be overcome by adopting seven easy to implement strategies.