Great article Caryn! An in-depth look at imposter syndrome a subject close to my heart. I’ve also heard it referred to as “the resistance”. Many of the techniques you shared have helped me when fighting the resistance, I like the idea about changing your habits. For interest sake, these two things have really helped me:
- Keeping a progress journal. (One technique for “owning your success”)
Occasionally, I try to do this once a week, I’ll write down all I did that I’m proud of. Little things become big things over time… “Reached out to a friend about an idea of developing an app” to “ Mapped out the experience of our app” to “Submitted the app to the app store” to “Got our first review on the app and it was positive!!”.
I’ll do this for each area of life, so when I’m feeling like a fraud or failure… I can go back to my progress journal and remind myself of the past successes I’ve had. I do this using “Day One” the journal app, so it’s super easy to maintain and not lose (like I might with paper) :-)
I do this fairly consistently, but sometimes “fall off the wagon”. If that’s the case and I find myself feeling overwhelmed and like “I can’t do this… I’m not good at this…Why am I even trying?” I’ll head back to my progress journals for a quick little pick me up and then spend some time writing my most recent progress accomplishments.
You mention in your article: “What makes this pervasive phenomenon so interesting is that despite ample objective data that tells someone they deserve their position (good grades, a history of successful jobs, positive performance reviews, etc.), they still somehow believe that any minute someone will find out their fraud and they’ll be revealed as an imposter.”
To your point, I think the fact that I’m writing down what I personally am proud of, instead of it coming from others, is what makes this effective.
2) Mantra/Affirmations as part of my morning routine. It works for me, others might find it silly and ridiculous… to each their own :-)
The mantra changes depending on what I’m personally struggling with... When I started a new job and felt inadequate for no real reason, besides “the resistance”. Part of my mantra was: I’m a smart, confident and creative problem solver. <kidding>…and doggonit people like me — +1 bonus for those that know the SNL reference :-) </kidding>
It worked and I no longer found myself second guessing decisions and feeling anxious. The culture was great, it was my own personal “resistance” that was attempting to sabotage me.
Thanks for this article, will certainly share this with others!