How Imposter Syndrome Holds You Back

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As we prepare to enter into another year, please rid your mind of Imposter Syndrome.  Imposter Syndrome is seemingly becoming more of an issue in our society and it is costing all of us dearly.  Ongoing it is holding you back and impacting you in ways that you may not even realize. I’ll explain what Imposter Syndrome is, how it holds you back, and what you can do about it.


What is Imposter Syndrome?

Have you ever gone into an interview that you know you’re qualified for but you actually feel you’re not despite everything that says otherwise? Or maybe you attribute your success more to luck than your hard work. These are signs of Imposter Syndrome, a phenomenon that leads people to believe they’re frauds or aren’t deserving of their achievements. They believe that they are imposters who are only getting by on the skin of their teeth. It is estimated that 70% of people will experience Impostor Syndrome at least once in their life.


How It Holds You Back

Your Imposter Syndrome is holding you back in your career and possibly in other areas of your life. You’re more likely to suffer from burnout because you over plan and do more than you need to in an effort to feel worthy of your position. You may also end up procrastinating because of the high standards you hold yourself to. Or maybe you don’t go for a new job or a promotion because you feel unqualified even when you’re a perfect fit. Your family can also end up suffering as they are neglected in favor of doing extra work. People with Imposter Syndrome struggle to climb the career ladder and end up making thousands less than they should.


How to Break Free from Imposter Syndrome

For many Imposter Syndrome is temporary and will pass, for others, it’s an ongoing issue that will hold them back. Breaking the cycle is incredibly challenging and for many requires professional assistance. Here are some of the things you can do to break free from Imposter Syndrome.

Get a Mentor: Find someone in your field who is where you want to be. Be open and honest with them about your feelings and ask them if they ever felt the same.

Acknowledge Your Skills: Take some time to recognize your skills and talents. Make a list of all the things you have achieved including degrees, online courses, and big projects you’ve taken part in.

Look at the Evidence: Take a look back at your career and consider all the times you’ve received praise or had a positive outcome. Look at all the evidence that shows you are good at what you do.

Say It ’til You See It: This is where that phrase comes from! If you feel like an imposter…don’t let it hold you back. Keep pushing forward and say it ’til you see exactly what you want or who you want to be.

Seek Professional Help: Finally, if you continue to struggle with your Imposter Syndrome then it may be time to seek professional help. This can come from counseling or even a life coach.

You are not an imposter, and neither am I.  If you’re like me, you may need to become more self-aware and take time empowering yourself in the areas where you are weak.  In the words of Dr. Seuss, “always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’ve ever imagined.”  Don’t let your insecurities, past hurt, or fear of success stop you this year….. be all the way great.

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LaToyia, The Motivated Mom


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