5 Methods for Combating Imposter Syndrome
February 9, 2021
combating imposter syndrome
Unless you’re playing Among Us, feeling like an imposter while trying to do your job is not a great feeling. It can impact your work, your self-esteem, and even your happiness. According to Time Magazine, roughly about 70% of people experience what is known as imposter syndrome (IS) or the imposter phenomenon. If you’ve found your way to this article, you may be wondering if you fall into this percentile and how you can combat it. First, let’s dive into what IS is.

What is imposter syndrome?

Have you ever doubted whether or not you were qualified for a role? Did you think you didn’t deserve it? Were you worried your coworkers were thinking the same thing about you? You may have been experiencing symptoms of imposter syndrome. Here are the most common symptoms according to this article published by verywellmind:

  • Self-doubt
  • Setting unobtainable goals and feeling inadequate when they are not reached
  • Self-sabotage
  • Attributing success to external factors
  • Unable to accurately assess personal skills and competencies
  • Fear of not living up to expectations
  • Low self-esteem regarding professional performance

combat imposter syndrome

While we don’t quite know exactly but can cause IS, we do know it can affect anyone at any stage of their life or career. If you have experienced or are experiencing any of the previously mentioned symptoms, keep reading to learn some methods on how you can combat IS.

What you can do to combat imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome is not always an easy thing to overcome for everyone. It takes effort and awareness. Here are some of our tips for combating it.

1. Acknowledge how you’re feeling and put it into perspective

Possibly one of the worst things you can do is to ignore the feelings you’re having. When these feelings go unresolved, they’ll only grow and continue to impact your life both personally and professionally. Instead, acknowledge how you feel and ask yourself and others that you trust if the way you feel is accurate to what is actually happening.

For instance, you may feel as though at the end of the day you accomplished nothing and wasted your time. If that’s the case, have a trusted friend or colleague ask you what it is you actually did. You’ll find in describing your day to an outside person, you actually did a lot. They can also help you walk through your feelings at that moment. Sometimes something as simple as receiving reassurance can make an impact.

2. Learn to set SMART goals

One of the symptoms those facing IS may have to overcome is being unable to set obtainable goals. One method for setting more realistic, achievable goals is to implement what is known as SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. You can learn more about SMART goals in this article. You can also read this article about setting and accomplishing goals.

By properly setting goals, you are not only more likely to achieve them, but you can also measure your success in a way that makes it more likely for you to believe you are achieving success.

3. Reframe your mindset on failure

This one takes a bit more mental strength than the others because the only person who can help you here is yourself. For someone experiencing IS, failure may take a large toll on you. However, reframing how you see failure can also help how you handle failure and experience it.

For instance, failure should not be seen as a bad thing, which we understand is a bit of a weird concept. Instead, you need to train yourself to see failure as an opportunity. Things will not always go your way, and that’s alright. When you fail, take it as an opportunity to learn. What went right and what didn’t? If you could do it all again, what would you do differently? If you can accept your failures as learning experiences, you’ll be better prepared to accept them.

“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” – Alfred Pennyworth

4. Avoid comparisons

Every person is different, which means they feel things differently, understand things differently, and even experience success and failure differently. If you always compare yourself to those around you, you may be forgetting to focus on yourself and your own work.

While social media is a great way to network and connect with others, it can also cause us to inadvertently compare ourselves to those in our network. When you catch yourself doing this, maybe take a break for a few days or a week, consider your feelings, and move on.

combating imposter syndrome

5. Seek professional guidance

Speaking to a psychologist or another qualified professional is the best method for combating IS and other feelings of anxiety. While reading this article may have helped, our team is not made of professionals within the mental health space and we can only provide guidance based on our research. Ultimately, the best choice is to consult someone who is trained in these areas.

It is likely that many of us will experience imposter syndrome at least once in our lives, which is why it is important to have an understanding of what IS is and methods for combating it. We hope you found this article to be helpful. For more tips and tricks, continue to check in on our blog every week for new articles. Good luck!


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By Emily Provost

Emily is BrandResumes' Content Specialist and is an Associate Resume Writer. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Publishing Studies with double minors in Marketing and Journalism from Hofstra University. She has had editorial experience working as an editor for various publications from Hofstra and worked as a writing tutor for undergraduate students.

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