Most people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their life. They might not know there is a term for this deep feeling of doubt but it has likely always been there holding them back.
Despite being successful at something in the past and regardless of any compliments you may have received from friends or peers, you feel like an imposter. No matter how far you go, you are constantly left doubting yourself and feeling that you lack the abilities needed to complete your goals. Imposter syndrome comes with the fear of being exposed as a fraud regardless of how talented you are.
Studies show that 70% of our population have dealt with this at some point in their life. Some experience this for brief periods, for example when they start a new job and are tossed into an environment that challenges them in ways they aren’t used to. But, many deal with this forever and the feeling never truly goes away.
As with many things, social media has played a role in how prevalent this issue is. The majority of people online only highlight the best moments throughout their day. When people scroll through feeds they are left to compare their mundane reality to the perfect depictions of other people's lives. Society has taught us to criticize ourselves in everything we do. This is especially true for women.
Imposter syndrome can be confusing. You may have a resume that shows your experience. It is probably full of relevant work history or completed projects. Those aren’t lies; you have achieved things that make you worthy of seeking out jobs you want. Even with this evidence, we find ourselves doubting what we are capable of.
As a woman in my early twenties, I know how limiting job searches can be. Being told that you don’t have enough experience that relates to whatever field you are trying to get into sucks. Of course with certain jobs this makes sense. You probably want a doctor that is extremely educated. But with many jobs, especially in creative fields, you really don’t need as much as they’re requesting. Experience is great but how can one gain it without being offered opportunities to prove yourself?
Tons of people experience this same thing regardless of age, gender, race, body type, education level, or whatever else makes us different. Self-doubt doesn’t discriminate.
How do we get past imposter syndrome?
In many cases, your own lack of confidence can hold you back more than anything else. We won’t take as many risks or seek out opportunities if we are full of self-doubt.
Until you do the inner work no matter how far you go you will not be confident in your abilities. We have to change our mindset and our negative thoughts. Beginning to change our limiting beliefs into positive affirmations and sticking to these can make a big difference.
Kara Loewentheil, J.D. is a master certified coach. Her free guide is easy to use and explains that thinking positive thoughts that you truly don’t believe in is not going to fix the issue. You need to actually rewire your brain. In this guide, she explains how to do just that by using The Thought Ladder.
It's natural to doubt yourself, but don't let those doubts turn into limiting beliefs.
Knowing about imposter syndrome and wanting to get past it is half the battle. The only real difference between those with imposter syndrome and those without is their mindset. They rare