3 Ways Your Imposter Syndrome Is Holding You Back And What You Can Do About It
Feeling like an imposter sucks.
It’s never a good feeling when you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, what are other people going to say about this?” because then you’re spending all your time and energy thinking about what other people think instead of doing the things you actually want to do.
Y’know, the things that feel good and aligned to you and your goals.
And when you spend your days, weeks, and maybe even months feeling like this, your imposter syndrome is gong to hold you back from doing amazing things.
I get it, and I’ve been there. In fact, I’ve been there multiple times around the block.
It’s like when you’re exiting a garage and you see the exit sign but somehow you keep missing it and driving around once again - or worse, you somehow find yourself going up to the next garage level instead of down. ...just me?
Here are 3 ways your imposter syndrome is holding you back and what you can do about it:
1. You keep flip flopping back and forth, therefore not really committing to anything.
You’re afraid of failing, afraid of rejection, afraid of this and that, and every time you think about doing something, the fear of not being good enough and being “exposed as a fraud” comes up, so you back out.
And what often ends up happening is that you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t do anything. That you’re not capable and now you’re not that reliable either because you didn’t follow through on your own word. Even more so, your attention and energy is all over the place and now you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, and not very confident.
Life feels a bit stagnant and lame, right?
Solution: Decide on one thing and go all in.
I’m not a “put all your eggs in one basket” kinda gal. I don’t think anyone should be, but I do believe in making mistakes and learning from them.
Because if you’re always flip flopping, you never really have to commit to anything - so it ends up being a low risk, low reward kind of thing. And I get it, because that’s been me most of my life too.
When you decide on doing one thing and commit to learning how to do it well, then you focus on what sits at the top of your priority list instead of spreading yourself too thin on the 500 things you think are at equally important.
Get out of your “what’s the point” and “nothing is going to work out” mentality because if that’s what we allow ourselves to think, that’s what’s going to become the reality.
Commit to something. Yourself.
2. You don’t believe in yourself. You don’t think you have what it takes to make it work.
Maybe you think other people are doing it better, so what’s the point of trying, right?
But the thing is… everything has already been done by someone, so we have two options: we can either continue allowing ourselves to feel like a fraud and not take action or we can decide that it’s okay to start wherever you are and grow from there.
Because guess what? No one started out being a superstar.
Everyone was a beginner at some point.
The cold hard and often uncomfortable truth is that you just have to show up and put in the work even if it feels really scary and totally out of your comfort zone. Maybe you might actually end up looking stupid at some point. Who cares? The people you admire have probably done something stupid at one point in their career - maybe even at multiple times of your life.
Because you do have what it takes, but you have to: a. believe in yourself and b. apply yourself.
Solution: Just start doing. Take the first step.
At the beginning of this year, I didn’t believe in myself. I wanted to, but I just didn’t (to be totally transparent with you).
And every few months, I got scared and I would fall off the face of the Earth for a little while, but every time I would put on my big girl pants and show up again. And guess what? You build those muscles; it’s about consistency and doing the really uncomfortable things over and over again to prove to yourself that you can.
It’s like going to the gym. At first, everything feels uncomfortable and foreign. But if you go every day and apply yourself (with rest days of course), then it doesn’t feel so foreign after a while.
If you don’t believe in yourself yet, then show yourself you can through action. Because you can.
3. You want to be great at everything and never make a mistake.
Ahhh, the perfectionism. I get it, especially with this blog. Sometimes, there’s typos. Sometimes, I ramble on too long. Sometimes, I end up with 1.5k words and I haven’t even gotten to my point yet.
So what did I decide to do? Just write and keep writing. Practice, practice, practice.
Be okay with being imperfect. Be okay with not knowing all the answers. Be okay with making mistakes!!
The truth is you will never be great at everything, but everyone can be great at something.
Maybe you can relate to this but one thing that kept holding me back from blogging my heart out was this thought: “Oh I don’t have ALL the answers yet so I can’t put myself out there. What if someone finds out what a fraud I am?"
Solution: Realize that you’re human and plus people relate to people.
I’d like to think that people resonate with me and my writing is because I’m just me. I say what’s on my mind, I share my thoughts, and I’m open (for the most part) about my life.
Yes, what I’m putting out on the Internet is going to be here forever which is kind of scary if you think about it (so… don’t think about it too much otherwise you may never take action) but at the same time, it’s just me and my thoughts. My beliefs, my values, my story.
And also, I’m allowed to change. Who I am five years from now doesn’t have to be who I am today. In fact, I hope it’s not.
I will never be great at everything, but I can be great at something. Maybe it's helping people feel less alone, maybe it’s blogging, maybe it’s something else.
But I’ll never know unless I try. Unless I take the first step and put myself out there.
And if you never try because you’re afraid of making a mistake somewhere along the way (which you will btw), then you’ll never know what greatness you’re capable of either.
So who cares if you are an imposter? So what? If you keep going and doing, then someday you won’t be. You’ll know what you’re doing, and maybe you can help others on their journey.
Let’s stop caring about what other people think. Let’s stop judging ourselves so harshly. And let’s start doing the things we want to do, because life is going to pass us by either way.
I’d love to hear from you.
Has imposter syndrome held you back from anything lately? If so, how did you overcome it?