Imposter syndrome is the inability to believe that your success is deserved despite the effort you know you’ve put in or the skills you’ve developed over time. It erodes your confidence because so much energy is spent trying to overcome it or compensate for it.
4 Ways To Overcome Imposter Syndrome | Stephanie Burns
High performance expert and business growth coach, Jill McAbe, has felt like an imposter most of her life. She’s dyslexic, grew up with a mentally ill father, and was living alone by the time she was a teen after her family lost their home. She dropped out of college after suffering from electrical burns, went back to school at the age of 42 and was forced to drop out again after a nearly fatal car accident that left her over a hundred thousand dollars in medical debt. After consistently being knocked down, Jill didn’t think she deserved anything.
By overcoming imposter syndrome, however, Jill’s grit and drive led her to find success. Now Jill is a bestselling author, carries a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University, is a faculty member of York University’s Schulich Executive Education Centre and is a Top Teacher on the global career-skills platform, Skillshare. Today, Jill helps talented creatives, coaches, and professionals design and build purposeful, six and seven figure service-based businesses that work on-or-offline.
Here are Jill’s tips on how to think about and move beyond imposter syndrome.
1. Practice Really Does Make Perfect
“The only way to never have imposter syndrome is to never grow. Anyone with a modicum of ambition is going to constantly be aiming at new levels of success which by definition is going to take them into more challenging territory,” says McAble. “Don’t let these new levels be scary. We get good by practicing things. The performance tools currently in our arsenal are sufficient for projects we already know how to crush, but don’t adequately set us up for success when we have to tackle projects in areas we’ve previously struggled or in which we have little experience. So spend time practicing the new skills you haven’t mastered even if it makes you uncomfortable. The discomfort won’t last forever.”
2. Compare Yourself To Yourself
Imposter syndrome is very natural and comes with the territory of being someone who wants to make the most of their life. “One way to overcome it is to recognize that there’s nothing wrong with it, to notice it, and rather than compare yourself to other people, compare yourself to yourself. Are you doing your best? If the answer is yes, then you’re on the right track,” notes McAbe.
Don’t spend time comparing yourself to others in your arena. That will only waste time and bring on more anxiety. Instead, focus on the progress you’re making and how you are better today than you were yesterday.
3. Get Over The Idea That Success Is Selfish
“Many people have fears that by building their own business or going after their dreams they are abandoning their loved ones. It feels selfish. The problem with this is that they also end up feeling unfulfilled in life,” says McAbe.
“Read it and then read it again: you will not be able to achieve any of your goals if someone else is calling all the shots in your life. Plus, it could be their very negative energy that makes you feel like an imposter. When we go after our dreams, and increase our own fulfillment, we are actually more able to be there for others.”
4. Mentally Go From Invisible To Visible
“As you get closer and closer to realizing that your business is going to be successful, there’s this moment where you also realize you can’t hide your greatness anymore. So many of us have had instances growing up where we were told to not let our greatness shine, rather we were told to get in line, sit down, and wait our turn. Not being celebrated in our youth equates to us staying quiet about our accomplishments in our adulthood, which leads to imposter syndrome and the feeling of not deserving what we’ve accomplished,” suggests McAbe. “When this happens, envision what your life would be like if you stayed on your current path, then envision how it could turn out if you move past this fear of visibility to embrace what you know is in you.”
No matter what, imposter syndrome happens to the best of us and using these tips will help you to stop it in it’s tracks.