Imposter Syndrome Tips
By Esme Filsinger
Published on Nov 15, 2018
I’ve done the research and found the top 5 tips to overcoming imposter syndrome. It’s time to stop feeling like a fraud and gain the self-confidence that you deserve!
Hi, I’m Esme Filsinger aka The Confident Freelancer and today i’m going to be giving you my top five imposter syndrome tips! Most people have experienced impostor syndrome at some point and it can be a real pain in the butt so I am going to give you some great tips on how to beat it back!
It’s really easy to get carried away by negative thought cycles telling us we are not good enough, that somebody is going to realise we’re not the real deal or that we got that good contract because someone made a mistake, and it’s NOT something we often talk about. We often feel like we are the only one scrubbing breakfast off our skirt on the way to a meeting, while everyone else is smashing life; we just have to remind ourselves that from an outside perspective we look like we have it together too and many people are on the same trip.
Read on and then watch my video below to dig in deep!
So, number one, Keep a record of positive feedback and success. Seriously, write down nice things people say about your work, your personality, your cooking, whatever! When you are not feeling enough, looking back at that stuff is a massive boost!
Even saying things aloud to yourself can diminish the negative thoughts a little. Having a trusted person that you can share your thoughts with generally takes the bite out of the feelings and lessens the intensity. That friend is also probably going to quickly rationalise things with you too! It’s also real good to practise self-validation: what would you want that friend to say? You don’t necessarily want advice, just reassurance, so work out what you need to hear and tell it to yourself! It feels super creepo at first but you get used to it after a while and it teaches you to be there for yourself as well as reaching outside for reassurance! Also, we do it for our friends all the time and we don’t feel underqualified in those moments. Extend the service to yourself!
Make a note of the people who helped you get to where you are. A good example is the person that gave you that contract. Would they pick somebody who didn’t have the relevant skills and experience? They’ve made a decision about you and now they have put their money where their mouth is – respect that!
You don’t have to be the best at something to be very good at it and bring immense value. This might not seem very encouraging but holding ourselves up to ridiculous standards is often a barrier to making any progress at all! Become comfortable with B- work. What’s the point in perfecting something to the highest degree if nobody is ever going to get to see it? If I held out for perfect then I wouldn’t be delivering these videos, I wouldn’t be contributing things that I know have value and most importantly I wouldn’t actually be improving my output! I am sure I will look back at this even 12 months from now and cringe at the production and editing and probably my delivery, but without this there would not be 12 months of progress to look back from.
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We need to reframe the way we talk about ourselves and our achievements. Many of us have ways of expressing our feelings that validate negative thoughts and reinforce inaccurate images of our capabilities. We tell ourselves “I am an idiot” and then our subconscious will go about looking to validate that, picking up on the fact that we did something minor that affirms this rather than the really positive thing that we did earlier. I think it’s a bit like when you buy a new car or get a new pet, now you notice every car thats the same make and model as yours or it suddenly seems like dachshunds are everywhere (I wish!). Get into the practice of saying nice things about yourself – and it is a practice, as in you’ll have to actually practice it until you get good – and your brain will seek the validation!
It’s good to separate the perceived negative behaviour from your identity. You can either frame yourself as a person who always makes bad decisions – and didn’t I just prove it by doing another stupid thing? OR you can frame yourself as a fallible and real human being who sometimes does unwise things but often doesn’t. It’s the difference between “that was a stupid thing to do” vs “I am a stupid person.” The distinction is very important to make! I have linked here to an article by Brene Brown which expands on this in relation to shame vs guilt and it’s definitely worth a read.
I would love your feedback! Please leave a comment below or on my video on YouTube
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