Imposter Syndrome is Real – How to Overcome the Negative Thoughts

According to Psychology Today, imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.

Although it’s not classified as an actual disorder, imposter syndrome can have negative impacts on the lives of those who struggle with it. Whether it’s debilitating thoughts, lack of confidence, or even missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity, imposter syndrome is draining.

If you’re currently struggling with the harmful effects of imposter syndrome, some positive habits can help. Below are four tips to overcome negative thoughts and tackle imposter syndrome.

Focus on your strengths

Often, we judge ourselves for all the things we’re bad at instead of focusing on what we’re great at. Yes, I’m guilty of this, too. I’ve passed on opportunities just because I don’t think I’m exceptional at doing all the things I think I need to be exceptional at. In reality, no one is perfect. This means that we all have areas in our lives where we’re just not good at something. That’s OK. Focus on the things you’re good at and you’ll quickly realize that it’s good enough to work with.

Celebrate your achievements

When was the last time you took the time to celebrate your achievements? No matter how big or small, celebrating our victories can help empower us to recognize our gifts and potential. If you haven’t given yourself credit in a long time, make it a priority to create a list of all the things you’re most proud of thus far. This can be over the last month, year, or even five years. The goal here is to get you to physically see all that you’re capable of and have already accomplished.

Talk to someone

If you’re one of the many individuals dealing with imposter syndrome, you’re likely doing it in silence. After all, no one wants others to know how we truly feel about ourselves. As hard as it can be, find the strength to reach out to someone that can help you overcome those negative thoughts. This can be a friend, family member, or therapist. Talking about your thoughts with someone other than yourself can help you break down those feelings and tackle your beliefs once and for all.

Shift your mindset

As someone who deals with anxiety daily, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to get out of a funk. Although shifting your mindset can sometimes be easier said than done, it has incredible benefits. Next time you’re feeling bad about your shortcomings, inexperience, or failures, choose to find the good in the situation. Be grateful for what you are good at and choose to make the best of those gifts. Your mind will adjust to that mindset shift and will eventually ignore your negative and unproductive thoughts.