Case study
October 21, 2020

Overcoming imposter syndrome

Overcoming imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome is one of the greatest barriers preventing us from moving outside our comfort zone: the fear that we couldn’t possibly be qualified to do whatever we’re aiming to do.

It fills your head with limiting beliefs like:

  • “This will never work”
  • “You don’t have anything useful to share.”
  • “Who will follow your work anyway?”

But to accomplish anything of merit, you have to act in the face of this resistance. Here are some of the best ways to think about it when it arises.

You're Better Than You Think 💪

The best performers underestimate their competence, and you are no different.

Remind yourself of all the impressive things you've done in the past. Write down your achievements and keep them in a place you'll see them often - this could be on your bathroom mirror or in the notes section of your phone.

If you're anxious that you don't have sufficient expertise to win people's respect, remember that clients and followers don't care about your credentials, they care about achieving their own goals. Help them to do do what matters to them, and they won't care how qualified you are. .

Whatever stage you're at, it's never too early to share what you've learned.

You're excited, not anxious

Emotions have both physiological and psychological manifestations, and it's the former that provokes the latter. In other words, you don't say "I'm angry" and suddenly feel your fists clench, you feel the physical manifestation first and then attribute an emotion to it. Often, however, our minds misinterpret the signals our bodies' are sending them. The physiological signals for fight and flight, for instance, are almost identical, and our mind chooses one arbitrarily based on the perceived threat.

So, the next time you're afraid to publish your work online, ask for a sale, or take a risk, tell yourself you're excited, not scared. It sounds trivial, but it works wonders.

The Spotlight Effect 💡

Being, as we are, at the centre of our own universe, we tend to think that we're at the centre of everyone else's as well. But everyone else is far too consumed with their own lives and insecurities to even begin to care about what you're doing.

This phenomenon is known as the Spotlight Effect and because of it we often procrastinate and stop ourselves from taking important risks

When you realise that everyone else is too concerned with their own lives to worry about yours, it's liberating. Nobody is judging you. Nobody will think you're a fraud. You can take risks, make mistakes, and be different. There's really not much to fear about building an online presence. Even if you fail miserably, people will move on and forget all about it.

TLDR

Starting something new is scary and we all doubt ourselves - there is nothing unusual about how you are feeling!

When you start to feel it creeping back in, remind yourself that:

  • you're better than you think,
  • anxiety and excitement are two sides of the same coin,
  • People aren't judging you nearly as much as you think,

you can start to take action in the face of this resistance.

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