How to Identify and Overcome Imposter Syndrome

What Is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is the fear of being exposed as a fraud, despite external evidence of competence. They are intense feelings that your achievements are not deserved, coupled with a persistent, internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. They are also frequent negative thoughts of inadequacy based on anxiety rather than truths. Your feelings are not reality. We often feel our emotions, think it’s real, and then start to spiral out on thoughts based on those feelings. Anyone can view themselves as an imposter if they fail to internalize their success.

Do You Suffer From Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is just another side effect of having low confidence in yourself and not believing in your success. Signs and symptoms of imposter syndrome also include struggling to feel like you’re the “real deal” or legit, feeling like “I just got lucky.” “I don’t actually deserve this. I only got this because of this. I only got this because of that.” It’s a basic discomfort with acknowledging your own success. This is very much like another version of deflecting compliments. Discomfort with acknowledging your own success is kind of like the same thing. Just as you may deflect a compliment, you also deflect acknowledging your own success. They’re one in the same.

What Are the 5 Types of Imposter Syndrome?

  • The Perfectionist: You’re never satisfied, and you always feel like your work can be better. 
  • The Superhero: never feeling adequate enough, you end up pushing yourself to work as hard as possible, and then you measure your competency based on how many roles you can excel in. 
  • The Natural Genius: when you set unrealistic or excessive goals for yourself, and then you feel devastated when you don’t perfect it on the first try. 
  • The Soloist: You reject help or assistance because you see it as a sign of weakness or incompetence. 
  • The Expert: You’re always trying to learn more and never satisfied with your level of understanding. It is totally normal for you to resonate with all five of them, and the important thing is that you start to acknowledge it first.

How Does Imposter Syndrome Show Up?

Imposter syndrome shows up any time that we do not internalize our success. This is the cycle of imposter syndrome and why we end up staying in the shitty feeling. We start with a goal or an achievement or a scary task. It might be you applying for a job, starting the business, asking for a raise. Immediately, we begin to go into anxiety, fear of failure, and self-doubt. Because of this, there are two roads that we typically go towards: Over preparation or procrastination. Then, let’s say finally, you get to completion, you finally get that relief, and then you’re probably going to get some positive feedback because you did the damn thing. And then what happens? You fucking deflect the win, which then leads to increased anxiety, low self-confidence, perceived fraudulence, and it leaves you depleted, drained, and ultimately depressed.

How Can You Overcome Imposter Syndrome?

You must acknowledge and internalize all of your accomplishments and success. Take care of yourself. Know yourself. Love yourself and gas yourself up regularly. Who’s going to do it if you don’t? Who’s gonna take care of you? You need to take care of you. Who’s gonna know you better? It better be you. You have to know yourself better than anybody else can. Who’s gonna love you as much as you love you? Gas yourself up. Gas yourself up so hard. This is how you overcome imposter syndrome. Pet your mane.