How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome And Stop Feeling Like A Fraud

overcome imposter syndrome
Marie-Antoinette Issa

Aug 08, 2022

The fear of being caught out as a fake, can strike even the most confident among us. However, according to Chelsea Pottenger –  international motivational speaker, corporate wellness presenter, and author of The Mindful High Performer – there are a few simple tips and tricks you can implement to help you overcome Imposter Syndrome.

The official reason you might struggle to overcome Imposter Syndrome 

Imposter Syndrome is the fear of being found out as a fraud, and the belief that you’re not that good … just lucky.

This doubt usually rears its head in a professional context, and according to Chelsea brings with it anxiety that pretty soon your boss/colleagues/customers are going to work out that you’re not actually that good at your job.

“That doubt will start to affect your work, your behaviour and your self-esteem. Instead of achieving your goals, you are getting held back by a limiting belief that simply isn’t true,” she says.  

overcome imposter syndrome

But we live in a #MotivationalMonday world. Surely all those Instagram posts encouraging women to “own their greatness” has sent Imposter Syndrome down the same path as thin eyebrows and OTT nail art?

Unfortunately not. While the study that initially defined Imposter Syndrome declared that this position only affects women, the alarming thing is that things haven’t changed THAT much since Dr Pauline R. Clance and Dr Suzanne A Imes first released their findings in 1978. In fact, according to KPMG, it’s estimated that today up to 75% of female executives continue to struggle with self-doubt and the fear that they’ll be found out as fake!  

Signs you may be suffering from Imposter Syndrome 

Some of the most common signs of Imposter Syndrome, include relentless self-doubt; inability to realistically assess your competence and skills and celebrate your accomplishments; attribution of your success to external factors; self-depreciation; constant dissatisfaction with your performances; fear that you will fail to live up to expectations; and self-sabotage of your own success. 

Chelsea says, “Imposter Syndrome manifests in myriad behaviours. In women, it might mean you weaken your presence, speak up less, hold back from sharing ideas and shrink away from their genuine talent.” 

Tips from a woman who has been there, done that!

If you’re nodding your head and realising you tick a few of these boxes, then you are not alone. In fact, Chelsea has herself experienced Imposter Syndrome for many years.

“Believe me, when I first started stepping onto stages to deliver keynote speeches on mental health, I had jarring moments of self-doubt,” she says. “Why would anyone want to listen to what I had to say?”

However, by trusting your intuition and becoming aware of the harmful narrative in your head, Chelsea says you can begin to consciously reclaim the story. “For me, it meant talking back to the voice and saying ‘People want to listen to what I have to say because humans need connection, hope and guidance’.”

Chelsea’s other tips and tricks to overcome Imposter Syndrome: 

  1. Pause and ask yourself is this really true? 
  2. Acknowledge your emotions but treat them as a visitor passing by 
  3. Stop chasing perfectionism, it doesn’t exist 
  4. Practice self-compassion 
  5. Celebrate your successes and your failures.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Marie-Antoinette Issa

Marie-Antoinette Issa is a contributor for The Carousel and has worked across news and women's lifestyle magazines and websites including Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Madison, The Urban List and Daily Mail, I Quit Sugar and Huffington Post.

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