Beating Impostor Syndrome: You BelongDecember 17, 2020
Do you feel like you are always trying to ‘fake it till you make it’ or that your skills and competencies aren’t enough to compete in this ever-advancing world? You could be one of the many young adults that are suffering from Impostor Syndrome.
Impostor Syndrome and how it can affect you
Impostor Syndrome is the low, constant rumbling of insecurity, fraudulence, or self-doubt that strikes successful individuals. These feelings can persist even when there is a plethora of evidence that suggests you are incredibly capable, and can even be at its worst after a major accomplishment such as getting hired, getting a promotion, or passing an important exam. There are many different ways that Imposter Syndrome can manifest and affect your life.
One way Impostor Syndrome can affect you is by making you feel like you are a fraud. When experiencing this, you are constantly fearing being ‘unmasked’ and that your true, incompetent self will be revealed. This can cause you to feel like you haven’t earned your place and you don’t belong amongst your peers. Impostor Syndrome can also cause you to believe that everything you have achieved is just luck and that you didn’t earn it through any special talents or abilities.
These feelings can leave you with low-self esteem and self-confidence, as well as feelings of isolation. However, there are many strategies you can try to help combat Impostor Syndrome in yourself.
Ways to fight Imposter Syndrome and the thoughts that you aren’t enough
If you are feeling like you don’t have the capabilities to live up to what everyone expects from you, here are some things you can try to combat Impostor Syndrome. These strategies will help you understand that you are competent and you are enough.
1. Understanding this feeling is normal: Although it might not feel like it, many successful and competent young adults are feeling the same way that you are. People just don’t talk about it because each individual feels like they have to keep it a secret so no one finds them out.
2. Remembering what you’ve accomplished: When you are feeling like you aren’t enough, create a list of all of the things you’ve already been able to do successfully. Re-read it from time to time to remind yourself that you have the skills to accomplish major things.
3. Talking through these feelings: Whether it’s a friend, parent, significant other, or a therapist, disclose these feelings of doubt with someone you trust. Remember a lot of people experience Impostor Syndrome, and it can help to discuss feelings with someone who can relate. It can also be beneficial to seek out a mentor who can help you to navigate intimidating situations.
4. Knowing it’s okay to not always know the answers: As a young adult, you’re not expected to know everything right from the jump. All new experiences have a learning curve, so reframe your mindset as someone who is learning and gaining expertise as you go along. It’s also good to expect initial failure when you try new things, allowing yourself some leeway at the beginning of a new journey.
5. Developing a new internal script: It’s important to become aware of the conversation that is going on in your head when you are experiencing Impostor Syndrome. When you are thinking “Oh no, everyone is going to find out I don’t know what I’m doing,” change the narrative to, “I might not know all of the answers yet, but I’m intelligent enough to figure them out.”
Using these strategies to help battle Impostor Syndrome is an ongoing process, so be patient and allow yourself the grace to make mistakes along the way.
Trails Momentum can help
Trails Momentum is a leading adventure-based program that helps young adults 18-25 find their path to success. The students who come to us are capable adults, but something has gotten in the way of their plans for success. Our unique programming aids young adults in identifying their struggles and provides experiences that allow for gains in insight, independence, and goal setting. For more information, please call (828) 457-8576.