This is part 4 in a series on Imposter Syndrome. To read part 3, click here.

Imposter Syndrome sucks. There’s so much about it that bothers me. Particularly the fact that people who are meant for big things only sabotage themselves because they think they’re not good enough.

To not go after opportunities because you fear failure is the saddest thing ever.

But we all do it.

We go in and out of fear and confidence; like a roller coaster, up and down.

How long we stay down is really the differentiating factor.

For example, you may have a great day operating in your purpose, doing your passion work, confident that everyone needs to see and hear what you created. Then, the next day, you’re in the trenches, flat on your face, running from everyone who wants to talk to you.

Either that or you run off to do busy work, work you don’t love, just to keep busy and avoid anything creative.

To get over imposter syndrome, you have to believe that you can do it, that you have enough, are enough and do enough.

Easier said than done? Let’s break down how to beat Imposter Syndrome into 15 simple steps.

15 Ways To Beat Imposter Syndrome

On the days (weeks, months, years) when Imposter Syndrome rears its ugly head, there are simple ways to counter the effects and become convinced of all the reasons you deserve to reach for the stars and do your life’s work in a big way.

These techniques can be done alone or consecutively to overcome Imposter Syndrome, so you stay down on that roller coaster for less time.

  1. Remind yourself every day of your purpose. Read your purpose statement every day. It’s not enough to have one day fully convinced of your mission and get to work like the badass you are. But you have to clear the mental clutter daily and become re-convinced every single morning of your badassery. This is where most fall short. Too many stop on the days where the fear is loud and the convincing seems too hard.
  2. Go on a compassion excursion. Write a list of all the things you love about yourself, and don’t be modest. This is not the time for shyness. Feel free to brag a lot (no one has to see this list)!
  3. Clean up your self-talk. Decide to see yourself in the most beautiful light, choosing words of self-talk that boost your confidence all throughout the day.
  4. Write down your accomplishments. Put on paper your successes, awards and milestones in life so far. You have more than you realize. Spend more than 5 minutes thinking about all that you’ve achieved (e.g. graduating, eating healthy, getting hired at any job ever, traveling the world), and post that list on your bathroom mirror.
  5. Go on a comparison break. Stop comparing yourself to others because no one is exactly the same, and we all have our different paths. Looking at someone else in a way that puts you in a lesser light is pointless. Become inspired by others’ success, rather than use it as a way to beat yourself up for not being exactly like them.
  6. Quit social media. For 5 days, take a break from social media. Stick to real social interactions instead. Go to a networking group, to a hiking meetup, to a community center’s potluck. Spend time with people who find it nice to meet you.
  7. Reflect and meditate. Sit in silence and meditate for at least 5 minutes every morning. Start your day with this moment of self-reflection and solitude. This time, spent consistently, will make you stronger because you will discover more and more about yourself–and to truly know yourself is the ultimate super power against imposter syndrome.
  8. Journal. After you meditate, spend 5 minutes journaling what came up for you when letting your mind roam.
  9. Breathe. When you feel the not-enoughitis creep in, immediately start thinking of something other than you (like how sunny it is, how nice that person was yesterday, how excited you are to try this new recipe) and take 3 big deep breaths while you think that new thought. This comes from meditation and mindfulness, being attentive to the wanderings of your mind and break the cycle  that constantly want to wander back to not-enoughitis. It’s easier because we believe meek is safe and accepted. Rather than powerful and strong. Practice a new belief.
  10. Listen to uplifting music. Keep a playlist of your favorite jump-out-of-bed, inspirational and motivational songs. Listen until you start to feel it in your bones and you’re ready to take on the day! For extra credit, dance.
  11. Gratitude. (Don’t act like you didn’t see this coming.) You don’t have to write a list, but at least think about 5-10 things you’re grateful for. But more specifically, include what you love about other people’s work, e.g. I love that this author is perpetuating an idea I care about so much. I love that there are other creatives out there like me. Let the adoration flow, but leave the jealousy out of it. This world needs more than just one person’s creativity. There’s more than enough room for yours, too.
  12. Don’t go it alone. Get a support system to foster a sense of trust in others and soak up their fondness for you. Strong, beneficial support systems believe in your ability to get whatever you put your mind to–give yourself that outlet.
  13. Go on an inspiration walk. Step away from the desk and get some fresh air. Move your legs and arms and open your lungs. Every Thursday, I do this exact thing live on Facebook for a Clarity Walk. Come walk with me each week.
  14. Hire a coach. Get help from a coach so you can vent and not be derailed by the complaints. Let a coach guide you toward your dreams. (If you are looking for one, message me @declutterist or shoot me an email.)
  15. Remember you’re worthy. Remind yourself of your worth by writing down all the compliments you get from family, friends, colleagues, clients, strangers, etc. Write down ONLY the compliments. Fold it up and keep it in your wallet so you can pull it out whenever you need the reminder.

Pick one or all of these steps and do them when you’re caught in the Imposter Syndrome trap. Free yourself ASAP…and then get back to work.



    2 replies to "How To Beat Imposter Syndrome"

    • Emily

      Loved this mini series on Imposter syndrome. I felt like you were talking to me directly. While recently practicing my mantra, “what I’m doing is enough,” I have found myself thinking, “I am enough.” It’s a comforting reminder. Especially when I am feeling overwhelmed, and out of control, or doubtful that I have what it takes, or fearful that I’ll give up.

      • Yvette Bowlin

        Ultimately it boils down to that: you are enough! (Because you are!) I’m so happy this article served you, and you’re continuing your mantra. The more you practice it, the more it will resonate as true for you, and you’ll begin to live life by it every day.

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