Imposter Syndrome: 6 Ways to Stop Undermining Your Efforts

Struggle with imposter syndrome?

There’s nothing to be ashamed of, because you are not alone!

Imposter Syndrome: 6 Ways to Stop Undermining Your Efforts 1

Do you often reject compliments directly or indirectly?

Yes?

Chances are, you think you do not measure up to the good people see in you or say about you. You simply don’t think you are worth more than what your mind tells you. Sometimes, we assume people are being sarcastic. Well, while sarcasm exists, there is a greater possibility that you are battling a bigger devil called “imposter syndrome.”

What Is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is simply the belief or feeling that you are not as capable or efficient as people say you are.

Imposter Syndrome: 6 Ways to Stop Undermining Your Efforts 2

Many of us actively fight this inbuilt distrust in ourselves and want an end to it.

What’s more saddening than playing an active role in dismissing your growth and efforts?

You are literally bringing yourself down before others do.

Good news is, you are not alone because there are more people actively fighting imposter syndrome than you can imagine.

The bad news?

If you don’t work on this flaw, you will battle with making progress.

Not to worry, we can all scale through this if we put our minds to it.

How To Get Past Imposter Syndrome

Before I knew there was a term for imposter syndrome, self degradation, I googled in my own words ‘why do I think I’m not as good as people say?’ There was a lot of information to help, but fast forward to years later, it still proved a problem.

Sometimes, getting the right help can be daunting and most times; the right help can be useless, if you are not ready to be assisted. Imagine the feeling of not being good enough to be helped. My point is, you can find all the information you need to fix your problem, but will get nothing done if you aren’t willing to open up for some changes. A lot of people don’t understand this, and that is why they remain in the dark.

First, I’m in no way a professional, but someone who is constantly working on herself amidst the hurdles and hope that you’ll tag along! So, here are a few starters to eradicate the feeling of not being good enough to the barest minimum.

It’s Imposter Syndrome, Acknowledge it

Here’s the thing, it’s not a sin to battle with imposter syndrome and it’s not a mental illness, but a challenge you have to manage. Everytime you experience growth, you may encounter this feeling. 

You don’t have to lie to yourself; embrace it; you are not alone. When you acknowledge it, you give yourself a chance to fight.

Imposter syndrome is just a feeling; you aren’t all the negative things you say to yourself. I could call myself an awful writer for all I care, but it doesn’t negate the fact that I write well and strive to be better. Feeling you are not good enough doesn’t mean you aren’t good at what you do. It’s just you sabotaging your efforts.

First we identify, then we fix. Remember, slow progress is still progress.

Accept and Appreciate Compliments

I had this awful habit of laughing off and rejecting compliments. It was always easier to feel undeserving. Rather than boost my confidence, compliments were excuses to mock my efforts and go all negative:

“You call this trash nice?”

“I know it’s awful even if you argue it’s lovely.”

“Don’t say I did well, I only wasted my time.”

Yes, those kinds of negative self-inflicted clapbacks.

Even if we feel undeserving, unless you cheated or stole someone else’s work, a “thank you” takes you one step ahead and makes it easier to combat imposter syndrome.

Acknowledge compliments when they come and shun the “negative” sarcastic replies in your head. It’s that easy.

Understand That Perfection is a Fallacy

We beat ourselves too hard for not being perfect, but fail to realize that there’s hardly anything that’s faultless. I can’t count how many times I procrastinate and leave tasks undone because they never come out perfectly.

There’s a reason why products continue to have newer versions. There’s always something you would miss or need to add; they could be introduced on the go and that’s perfectly okay. I repeat these lines to myself frequently to stay on track. Sometimes we do too much and abandon projects due to our excessives – this shouldn’t be.

Learn To Appreciate Yourself

Don’t blow your trumpets they say, but I’m calling the bluff. Appreciate yourself! It’s soothing when you remind yourself of how great you are doing. It’s not about vehemently lying to yourself, it’s about commending your progress.

“It’s okay to be a “lizard,” even for once in your life.”

I did grow, I learnt how to see and appreciate my efforts and believe me, it helps. You don’t have to wait for comments from others. Don’t sabotage your work, and you’ll be more confident. 

Surround Yourself With Positive People

Some people are mean, they pretend to be your friend only to pull you down at the slightest chance. You don’t have to endure such hateful “friends” even if they blackmail you for not being open to criticism. I’m pretty sure every smart human can tell outright malice from criticism.

It’s your right to have the best people around you – genuine people who want you to grow. 

Keep Journals

Not everyone enjoys writing, but if you can inculcate the habit, a bit of writing could do some magic. Write down what you feel as they come, you should also write your plans and stream of ideas that bump into your head.

I do a lot of writing especially when I sense my mind wandering off. Sometimes we can’t help but overthink (which isn’t good), but writing can help us break free before we go off to neverland. I try as much as possible to keep my write-ups positive but I often document my feelings regardless of where I find myself. Reading your thoughts is therapeutic and a helpful distraction.

Imposter syndrome is simply self-sabotage, but we can manage it one step at a time.

Good luck!