How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Oct 08, 2019

If you’ve ever felt like a fraud, like you don’t believe you’re the expert or the goto person in your niche or area of expertise, firstly listen up, it’s natural, and secondly in today’s video I’m going to share 3 top tips to help you overcome the imposter syndrome when it comes calling to you. Keep watching!

According to the Journal of Behavioural Science, a massive 70% of people experience the imposter syndrome at some time or another.

Feeling like a fraud, doubting yourself, or your level of skill and expertise, known as the imposter syndrome is one of the most common limiting beliefs, but left unchecked it can chip away at your self esteem and confidence. It can even prevent an otherwise brilliant person from building a successful career or thriving business, and I know because as well as helping people deal with this in their own life and business, I also had to overcome it in my life, too.

So, if the imposter syndrome is preventing you from fulfilling your true potential, let’s deal with it today!

To help you do that, I’m going to share 3 top tips to help you redress the balance, restate your reality, and place ‘self’ firmly in front of ‘belief’ for you. Let’s go!

Step 1: Believe Your Own Sh*t!

I know that phrase is a little ‘out there,’ but it’s true. The imposter syndrome is based around a belief that you might not be as good/experienced/affective/successful (etc, you get the idea) as you say you are. Say’s who? Based on what? 

It’s time to get real. What’s the truth? The reality? How much experience and expertise do you have? What results? Achievements? What have others said about what you do?  

Now, it’s important to emphasise this is a ‘reality exercise,’ meaning your really have that track record, achievements and accolades, so honesty is an integral component in overcoming the imposter syndrome. But in my experience, people are usually far harsher and less likely to recognise their own accomplishments than they are to recognise others.

Step 2: Share With A Peer Group.

Whether you join a mastermind, mentoring, group coaching programme, are take part in a similar style group, sharing your fears and feelings around the imposter syndrome will help, usually in 3 ways:

  1. Sharing your fears out loud can make you aware of just how out of kilter those beliefs are, and in doing so can reset the balance of just how resourceful (etc) you really are.
  2. Your colleagues in the group will usually ask you questions around what you’re saying, simply because they see you in your true light, rather than they way you see you, fearful of being  the imposter!
  3. If you’re a proactive member of the group and helping others achieve what they want, you’ll also be reminded the value you provide in helping them achieve that.

Step 3: Talk Back!

Whilst I describe the imposter syndrome as a limiting self belief, the reality is it usually shows up as critical self talk, for example; “who you kidding? / you’ll never be able to do this! /they’ll find you out this time! Or as the legendary writer Maya Angelou once shared, ‘You know, I’ve written 11 books, but each time I think, uh oh, they’re going to find out this time, I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out!’

So, what’s your reply going to be when the imposter syndrome self talk show whispers in your ear? 

To talk back, I want you to decide on a phrase that answers whatever your inner critic might say. Just a few guidelines to keep it strong and ensure it’s effective:

  1. Make it real (factual)
  2. Make it positive (no ‘can’t/don’t/shouldn’t etc)
  3. Say it with feeling/passion/emotion.

For example:

  • 25 years experience says I can!
  • I’m a professional (fill in the blank), I can do this!
  • My track record speaks for itself, so bring it on!

Finally, the most important word to remember as you implement the above strategies is CONSISTENCY. Do it again, and again, and again and never give up. The imposter syndrome is about giving up, but by implementing your support plan, your ‘yes I can’ mindset, eventually that inner critic will quieten…and even if/when it ever shows up again, you’ll know how to deal with it, too.

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