Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2022

Have you ever experienced success, but had it immediately followed by feelings of unease or lack of belonging? If so, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome. First identified in 1978, imposter syndrome describes how many successful people, especially women and minorities, feel like a phony or undeserving of their accomplishments or merits. 

Imposter syndrome is seen to be a mental health issue and linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression, but how can we overcome these feelings of being a fraud? Today we look at how to identify and reduce imposter syndrome. 

First things first, how do you know if you’re experiencing imposter syndrome? In addition to feeling out of place or undeserving, those experiencing imposter syndrome will also likely engage in discounting their accomplishments, have low self-confidence, worry about the expectations of others, and overwork themselves to the point of burnout to make up for perceived inadequacies. It’s also common to equate success with luck or coincidence, rather than your own hard work. 

So how can we tackle this issue? Here are some strategies for overcoming imposter syndrome:

  1. Talk it out. Many people experience imposter syndrome, so talking about what you’re experiencing with friends, family, or a therapist can be extremely beneficial and help you find a sense of community and support. 
  2. Stop the negative self-talk. When you catch yourself discounting your achievements, take a moment to pause and actively counteract the narrative. Remind yourself of your worth by reflecting on your accomplishments and the value you bring to the table. 
  3. Separate fact from feeling. We can’t always control how we feel, but we can root ourselves in the tangible facts to remind ourselves that feelings are not always representative of what is really going on. When you catch yourself feeling down, focus on facts and the reality of your achievements.
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