At times everyone feels like an imposter. It’s what you do with those feelings that counts.
Success is often accompanied by a psychological phenomenon known as “imposter syndrome“. High achievers, especially women, are particularly vulnerable to it.
Impostor syndrome is the experience of secretly believing you are unworthy of your accomplishments and have deceived others into thinking you are more talented, intelligent and competent than you really are despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
While feelings are real, the basis for feelings usually is not.
That’s why it’s important to know you don’t have to believe everything you think. Nor should you. But you do need to take steps to reclaim and step back into your own power.
10 tips that help
- Start and end each day in gratitude. Every day brings challenges that can cloud the good in your life. Embrace them. Even if the only prayer you ever say is “Thank You”, it is enough.
- Invest in your health. Health is the only true wealth. Eat well. Make setting aside time to exercise and get enough sleep a priority. Leave your desk and go outdoors every day even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Practice random acts of kindness!
- Watch your language. Putting yourself down is a bad habit. You must be your own cheerleader when so many are second-guessing your lifestyle choices. Speak kindly to yourself. Always.
- Eliminate negaholics from your life. Scrutinize your networks for people who will never be happy with their lives or you. Let them go.
- Decide, then act. Decision-making is a learned skill. Practice. Even when doubt lingers, act. You can correct mistakes and change your course of action. Don’t let fear paralyze you into doing nothing because you’re afraid of being wrong. The more action you take, the greater your confidence grows.
- Break out of your comfort zone. Take risks. Growth requires constant challenge and continuous improvement. If you don’t stretch yourself and push past limits, you’ll never know how far you can go.
- Put others in the spotlight. Every person you meet knows something you don’t. Make connecting with others the focus of conversation. Choose to see the best in others.
- Watch your body language. How you present yourself speaks volumes about how you feel about yourself. How you interact with others influences how they perceive and respond to you. So stand tall, sit straight, smile and make eye contact. Control your breathing. And, listen twice as much as you speak.
- Work with challenging mentors. Others who are successful are often generous in sharing advice and connections. Mentors help you recover more quickly from missteps and failures that come with taking risks. The right mentor pushes and stretches you in ways that accelerate growth and helps you hone decision-making and leadership skills.
- Do your homework. Commit to continuing education.
If you adopt these practices in your daily regimen, you will not become immune to imposter syndrome. But you will be less likely to be felled by it.
More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.
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