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4 Steps for Conquering “Imposter Syndrome”

“I have no idea what I’m doing.”

“Did I ever learn this in college?!”

“I’m not nearly as good as I thought I was and this entire thing is going to blow up in my face.”

Have you ever started a new job or tackled a new task and thought any of those sentences? Chances are that you have, at least in some way, shape or form. The truth is most of us have thought something along these very same lines, myself included.

These thoughts are the gateway to “imposter syndrome.” Imposter syndrome doesn’t mean you aren’t qualified or prepared, but instead it means that the doubts in your mind are leading you to believe that there’s no way you can be successful and accomplish your goals.

Having imposter syndrome leads you to believe that you’re not good enough and that’s far from the truth. Do you know what I hate? I can’t stand when you work your butt off just to hear a tiny voice tell you that your work was in vain. Starting my new job, I still have my bouts of imposter syndrome. I’ve been telling myself that the tiny voice spewing negativity in my mind is wrong!

You know what? I’m capable of overcoming that voice. And you are too. There are ways to escape imposter syndrome. Here are my tips on how to get your mental groove back:

1. First, speak on your imposter syndrome.

The first step to recovery is realizing you have a problem. When you begin to feel inadequate or experience self-doubt, remind yourself that there’s a huge chance it’s imposter syndrome and that you are actually very good at what you do. No one is perfect and we all have to constantly improve and learn to stay on top of our goals.

2. Then, realize that we’re all in the exact same boat.

Here’s a quote to remind you that it’s not just you who thinks that you’re in over your head:

“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.’ “ – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quote on Imposter Syndrome

The amazing Maya Angelou admitted that she doubted herself. Very few people start businesses or new opportunities knowing exactly what they’re doing. We all have been in the position of starting something new and learning as we go. That’s what life is all about: learning and growing as time goes along.

Think about the first time you did your makeup. Was your winged eyeliner perfect and did your foundation perfectly match your skin? I’m guessing the answer is no — it’s a learning process, and you get better at it every time.

3. Start positive affirmations and vision boards.

Keep your mindset positive by surrounding yourself with positive vibes. Everything from your group of friends to your phone and laptop backgrounds is feeding into your mindset.

It’s so important to take time to reflect on your life goals and seeing and speaking positively is a step in the right direction. Looking at your vision board or a set of sticky note quotes on your mirror is a great way to keep your mind light and is a key gateway out of settling in imposter syndrome.

Try these 7 days of affirmations to start with.

4. Finally, put good vibes out.

Write a list of things that you’re good at. Write out the list of reasons why you were chose for your position or project. Write what you’re thankful for or the good things that happened during your day. Just like how it’s important to soak up good vibes, it’s also important to let them out.

Look in a mirror and say to yourself:

“I am (your name) and I am adequate in every area of my life. I wasn’t made to set in the corner of doubt but to stand out in my own way and shine in my own light.”

Now go conquer that task or that job and kick imposter syndrome to the curb!

About the Author

Shay Davis

Shay has a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina. She loves traveling and exploring new places, keeping up with her Netflix queue (with a soft spot for "Shondaland" and reality TV) and developing her personal brand. In the future, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree, found a non-profit organization, and become an entrepreneur.