Overcoming imposter syndrome
You hear about it, you talk about it, but do you know it well enough to fight it off? Imposter syndrome is well known, but overcoming it is not so easy. It is a toxic pattern of thought which makes one doubt their skills, accomplishments, and talents. This intense feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt can make a person feel like a ‘fraud’, and it can happen to anyone regardless of their success. To put it into context, someone with imposter syndrome might think some of the following statements:
‘I don’t belong here.’
'I’m too stupid for this role.’
‘I must not fail’.’
‘I’m a fraud.’
There are some simple ways to help with imposter syndrome, where you embrace your achievements and see yourself worth for who you are.
1. Separate your feelings from facts
?Firstly, recognise your feelings when they emerge. Awareness is key. Most, if not all people have days when they might not feel very good about themselves or their performance. It may lead a person to feeling like they’re ‘stupid’. Remember, just because you feel that way does not make it true. You can write down a thought on a piece of paper and write down a counteracting fact next to it.
2. Own your success
Do not attribute your successes to external factors. Realise that what you accomplish is a combination of your own choices and actions. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can help in realising the work that you actually put in to accomplishing our goals, whatever they may be.
3. Reframe failure as a learning opportunity
?It’s human nature to make mistakes as we grow and learn, but for someone with imposter syndrome a failure can mean a lot more. It’s important to remember that your mistakes do not define you and your self-worth. Although it’s easier said than done, a mistake is an opportunity to develop. Find the lesson in the moment and use it constructively in the future.
4. Seek support
?Dealing with imposter syndrome can become overwhelming and sometimes even lead to low mood and anxiety. Don’t be scared to talk to someone about this, whether it’s a friend, a family member or a councillor. You don’t have to go through this alone.
These are just some out of many coping strategies and ways to challenge the unhelpful thinking imposter syndrome brings with it. Staying mindful and aware of yourself and your surroundings is key, as well as baring in mind that the negative thought patterns do not define your value! You are important.
This article has been brought to you by Kamila, as part of The Small Things Matter, a wider mental health campaign put together by AUBSU. We'd love to hear any feedback you have on our blogs, or the topics you’d like us to cover. Check out TSTM instagram @aubsu_matter for regular updates and TSTM page for more content. If you feel that you need further support, please contact Student Services or some other places we'd recommend.