How to Get Over Imposter Syndrome: 3 Direct Actions to Take
Feeling as though you aren’t good enough or that you aren’t “special” enough to be a part of the group you’re in or position you’re in is not something unique to you.
In fact, most successful people have found themselves in positions that are lightyears ahead of where they thought they’d be and with people of far greater success than they’d ever known before.
With this comes that feeling of Imposter Syndrome aka I’m not good enough and I don’t belong here.
Read below for three common themes shared by those who deal with Imposter Syndrome (myself included once upon a time) and some actions you can take to address and correct the direction of your thoughts.
I Don’t Deserve to Be Here
One of the most pervasive voices inside the minds of ordinary folks thrust onto the stage is the one saying, “I don’t know why I’m here…” and “I don’t know why anyone cares about what I have to say“.
Here’s the deal, you don’t decide what others find value in; that’s their choice to make.
If you’ve found yourself receiving awards, growing followers on social media, racking up views for videos, getting acknowledgements for a paper you wrote, or invited to speak at conventions, etc. you have to realize that something you did caught the attention and inspired people…
That’s a good thing.
Learning to accept compliments are praise is a good thing, but it can be difficult to do at first.
Here’s a piece of advice I received:
Zac, if someone compliments you, don’t dismiss it; accept it like you would a gift at Christmas, even if that gift was something you didn’t want, you still say “thank you“;
Because it isn’t about what you want, it’s about what the other person wanted to give. Allow them to have their moment of giving you that gift, accept the compliment and thank them, it’s the right thing to do.
That really hit home and it made me realize, this is about giving, you give your work, and others give you their time and attention. You don’t decide whether you deserve to be anywhere, if you’re there it was a gift, accept it, it’s the right thing to do…
I’m Not Good Enough For This Life
Many of us came from suboptimal upbringings, I know I did and it is still weird to think of where I’m at and how I got here.
The problem with coming from a tough background is it shapes your mind as to who you are, the life you deserve, and often it embeds the associates you turn to for approval.
You know who talks the most shit when you strive to improve yourself?
Your “friends” and family.
Those who were with you at the bottom had your back, as you grow and begin to work your way up the ladder of life, be it financially, with your style, position at the job, or accolades received you’ll find the snide remarks will begin to creep in:
- You think you’re too good now?
- You believe you’re better than us?
- You’re a fake, you don’t belong there.
These doubts you have in yourself are amplified by the fact that you’ve got people straight up telling you that you aren’t good enough.
Here’s the deal, these people aren’t mad at you, they’re mad at themselves. Your success and efforts act a mirror reflecting all their poor choices and stagnation in life.
If you can go out and make something of yourself, why can’t they?
The answer is you’re willing to do the work and they aren’t, but they aren’t going to face that tough truth so they protect themselves by projecting their insecurities onto your vulnerable mind.
You need to look around at your life and look at all the reps you’ve taken to get where you are.
I mean it, take an inventory of what you have done to get to where you are…
I’ve been there and what snapped me out of it is I recognized:
- I stayed up and wrote when others were sleeping.
- I’d take coaching calls during lunch instead of eating.
- I didn’t quit even when nobody was clicking my links.
- I turned my bedroom into a podcast studio, kicking my wife out to sleep on the couch so I could record late sessions.
- I put my time, money, and energy on the line again and again and again even when doubt, fear, and anxiety creeped in.
How can I continue to believe that I’m not good enough when I have this list in my face?
I did the work necessary, I earned this.
If you’ve done the work, then you’ve earned it to and there’s nothing wrong with claiming a prize which is rightfully yours.
Now, dealing with haters, that’s another blog post, but I will say this, the best response is to smile while you continue to win.
Everyone Just Pretends to Like Me
The fear of being fooled or “having the rug pulled out” is a defense mechanism which, if allowed to take root will compromise what would have otherwise been an excellent opportunity.
Think about it, when people genuinely like you, you choose to give them the cold shoulder, put up your walls, and only share half-truths with them…
it is going to drive them away. What could have been productive, healthy partnership or friendship is wasted out of fear of genuine connection and success.
That’s right, some people are afraid to succeed and the reason being is, if they win, it strips them of the “force field” of I’m not good enough.
When you “Win” you can no longer justify all of your previous failures or future potential.
If you can win at one thing, why not the next? So on and so forth for the rest of your days.
That is a terrifying prospect for many, they’re so used to being betrayed, kicked to the curb, used and abused that it’s become their norm and in normalcy, we find comfort...
For someone with a rough background, it’s going to be exceptionally difficult to learn how to trust and admit, maybe people really do like you. It’s easy to say they don’t, it’s easy to say they’re all just pretending in order to pull the wool over your eyes; the truth is you’re worthy of connection and until you see that, you’re going to destroy what could have been your greatest connections and life opportunities.
The world is hard enough without sabotaging yourself, give you a break, it’s okay to be okay.
When the thoughts above begin to take hold and start growing in your mind, pull a hard stop and dial yourself in. You aren’t who you were and you aren’t where you were, you have to leave that type of thinking behind and allow yourself to connect and to live.
There’s nothing wrong with you and if you allow yourself to connect, it may place you in a vulnerable position, but that’s life. You have to reach out sometimes, you have to give yourself permission to be welcomed and embraced by others.
Acta Non Verba,
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