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How To Guide - 5 Ways to Manage Imposter Syndrome

This topic has been on my list for the How To Guides for a while and then I got talking in a recent Thrive Sessions (our monthly online group coaching sessions free to all members) & decided this week was it!

What is Imposter Syndrome exactly? Although I'm pretty sure we've all experienced it, officially it's 'a behavioral health phenomenon described as self-doubt of intellect, skills, or accomplishments among high-achieving individuals' according the National Insititue of Health.

What it looks like for most of us, is a crushing feeling of not being good enough to be doing what we're doing or a nagging voice in our heads that we're out of our depth or a reluctance to step forward into opportunities because we assume that our skills or experiences aren't up to scratch.

Unfortunately, Imposter Syndrome is made so much worse by social media and, even for mature adults, it's very hard not to compare ourselves with the very best versions of everyone else.

So what can we do to manage our own levels of Imposter Syndrome so that it doesn't have a negatice impact on our micro businesses? How can we ensure that Imposter Syndrome sets us up to not succeed as we could?

Here are 5 ways to help you manage or at least explore options that will help.

  1. Recognise Symptoms: Identify the feelings and thoughts you might be experiencing that are associated with imposter syndrome, such as self-doubt, fear of being exposed as a fraud, or attributing success to luck. Simply be recognising your own experiences and thought patterns, it can reduce the control Impost Syndrome can have over you.

  2. Reframe negative thinking: When negative thoughts arise, remember to question their validity. Do you actually have evidence that these thoughts might not be accurate? It can also be useful to develop and regularly use positive affirmations to counteract negative thinking patterns. Remind yourself about your achievements, skills, and experiences and maybe even keep a list of successes to remind yourself of your capabilities and past accomplishments.

  3. Seek support & coaching: Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, and fellow business owners who understand your journey and can provide encouragement when you need it. Find a coach or mentor who can offer guidance, share their own experiences with imposter syndrome, and provide a realistic perspective on your abilities and achievements. You might even want to consider working with a therapist to develop strategies to cope with and overcome negative feelings that are long felt or repeated often.

  4. Celebrate your achievements: Start with goal setting - are yours even realsitic? Set manageable, achievable goals to avoid feeling overwhelmed and break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Acknowledge and celebrate even small successes which can build confidence and remind you of your progress and competence. It can also be useful to keep a journal or log of your achievements and positive feedback received from clients or peers to reinforce your sense of accomplishment.

  5. Focus on learning & improvement all the time: Try to view challenges as opportunities for growth rather than threats to your competence and adopting a growth mindset that focuses on learning and improvement. Regularly ask for constructive feedback from trusted sources to get feedback to help you improve, rather than proof of your self-doubt. Invest in yourself through courses, workshops, or gatherings. Gaining new skills and knowledge can boost your confidence and reduce feelings of inadequacy.

I hope that this has been useful and remember that we can talk more over in the Forum.


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