6 Tactics to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

The best way to deal with imposter syndrome is to confront it head-on and to change from thinking you have an imposter life to an imposter moment.

6 Tactics to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a toxic pandemic.

Research shows up to 80% of people struggle with feeling like their a fish out of water. Like they’re not good enough, everyone knows they’re faking it, and are worried people will find out.

This isn't just entry level employees or people are new jobs. It affects both men and women of all ages, from students to seasoned professionals and leaders in their careers, high achievers, and even stay at home parents.

Almost everyone struggles with it.

I recently discovered that there is more than just one type of imposter syndrome.

Dr. Valerie Young founded the Imposter Syndrome Institute and details the following 5 impostor types:

  1. The Perfectionist. This type imposter syndrome convinces you there’s always room for improvement, pushing you to chase perfection. Those perfectionist tendencies can make you doubt your own abilities, no matter how capable others think you are.
  2. The Expert. The expert feels like an imposter, doubting their status because they haven’t mastered every detail or step of their field. With more to learn, they question if they truly deserve the “expert” title.
  3. The Natural Genius. In this imposter syndrome type, you doubt your intelligence and competence. If you don’t nail it on the first try or take longer to master a skill, you feel like a total fraud.
  4. The Soloist. This type often hits when you’ve needed help to reach a certain level or status. Doubts creep in, making you question your competence because you didn’t get there solo.
  5. The Superperson. This type of imposter syndrome convinces you that unless you’re the hardest worker or the top achiever, you’re a fraud.

There’s more than just one way to feel like an imposter. And, it can impact more than just your work:

“Not only can imposter syndrome affect your internal feelings about your work or self-worth, but it can also actually affect the way you approach projects, relationships, or any other areas in which you are feeling insecure. This essentially creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, which is what makes it so insidious and necessary to address when it arises.”
Hannah Owens, LMSW

Most people try to solve imposter syndrome by working harder and ignoring their feelings. Others feel so inadequate they shrink back and resolve to hide in the shadows.

Neither of these options are what you want. They prevent you from confronting what's really going on.

The best way to deal with imposter syndrome is to confront it head-on.

Here are 6 tactics to confront imposter syndrome:

  1. Talk About It: Share your feelings with others. When you talk about imposter syndrome, you realize it’s normal and that you can overcome it.
  2. Think Different Thoughts: Your thoughts influence your actions. Change negative thoughts like “I can’t do this” to more positive ones.
  3. Be Aware of Negative Self-Talk: Notice when you start thinking you’re an imposter and change those thoughts.
  4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Social media often shows only the best moments of people’s lives. Compare yourself to who you were in the past, not to others.
  5. Take Baby Steps: Don’t aim for perfection right away. Take small steps toward your goals.
  6. Remember Your Wins: Write down your past achievements and remind yourself of what you’ve overcome.

By doing these things, you’ll start to see that you’re not an imposter; you’re learning and growing.

Remember to reframe your thoughts in a positive way:

“You’re not failing; you’re pursuing bigger goals and finding your voice.”

Almost everyone struggles with imposter syndrome. But as Dr Young says, you want to move from thinking you have an imposter life to an imposter moment.

This week, we're going to confront imposter syndrome head on.

We aren't going to ignore it or hope it goes away. Instead, we're going to confront it and counteract those imposter feelings.

What helps me is to write out my wins.

By listing my wins for the day or the week, I remind myself of what I have accomplished. This helps me confront imposter syndrome and to stack evidence against it.

So if you're feeling like an imposter in any area of your life, start by listing out your wins for this week.

Here are a few of mine from last week:

  • Worked out consistently 5 days last week.
  • Celebrated 16 year anniversary with Ryn.
  • Successfully onboarding a new coaching client.

Just by reading these, I am already feeling a confidence boost.

So, what are some of your wins from this last week?