overcoming impostor syndrome professional

How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome For The Professional

Previously, I wrote about overcoming impostor syndrome if you’re a beginner who does not yet have a lot of experience.

Today, I am going to write about how to handle impostor syndrome when you are already an expert or a professional.

Like death and hunger, impostor syndrome is no respecter of persons. It does not care whether you have been at your craft for twenty years or you are just beginning.

Let us look at six ways to deal with it.

1. Know you are not alone

Almost everyone has felt imposter syndrome at some point or the other. You may think, well, maybe those people are not that good. Do I have a surprise for you! Maya Angelou is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, and here’s what she has to say about herself:

“Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.”

Recognising that even very successful people (multiple award-winning successful) feel imposter syndrome should make you feel better. If people you consider very successful admit to sometimes feeling like frauds, would you say they are indeed right?

2. Acknowledge the thought

About the best response to imposter syndrome is to acknowledge it. There’s no use in denying it. Whenever you begin to feel like a fraud, don’t fight the feeling. Acknowledge it, then continue taking action.

Keep point one above in mind.

3. You are not your work

Your work is separate from you. Your work is not a reflection of all the parts of your life. There are many more parts to you.

Even if the work you put out fails, it is not you who has failed, it is that work. You probably have created, and still will create, works that will succeed beyond your expectations.

Keep that always in mind

4. Reflect on your accomplishments

Have you ever succeeded at anything? Have you ever done anything which you were proud of? Have you ever been complimented on something you did?

Whenever you begin to feel like an impostor, it’s a good practice to reflect on the things you have already accomplished.

You are still the same you who accomplished those things, aren’t you? Unless you have lost your wits since those times?

5. Stop comparing yourself to others

Impostor syndrome is usually as a result of comparing ourselves to others, often unconsciously.

“Well, I’m not good enough, unlike Ms. Whoever, who is perfect.”

But when you reflect on your own accomplishments, you begin to realize Ms. Whoever probably can’t do the things you do, in the way you do them.

You are the only person alive who is completely qualified to be you, and that is really what we want from you. We want your unique take on things, your unique perspective.

6. Be nice to yourself

If you can just stop being so hard on yourself for a moment, you will begin to realize just how good you are.

It’s funny how most of us judge ourselves more harshly than we judge others. We usually hold ourselves to an impossibly high standard, while giving others enough slack.

While this is not saying you should excuse yourself for laziness, you should however be kinder to yourself. Treat yourself with more compassion.

Conclusion

Impostor syndrome is something almost everyone faces. But the ultimate best way to overcome it, is to take action, despite whatever you feel at the moment.

Samuel is an avid reader and a freelance writer, in that order. He fancies himself funny, but his friends regularly don't laugh at his jokes. I have been a student of personal development for several years, and I created this blog to share my knowledge with others and help them become better versions of themselves.

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