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lifestyle / mental health

Battling Imposter Syndrome

by BetterSleep
Jul 7 • 5 min read
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If you feel like you’re not good enough, that you don’t belong, or that your boss might suddenly realize you can’t do the job you’re hired to do, you may be suffering from imposter syndrome.

While you might think you’re the only one feeling this way, it’s a common psychological phenomenon affecting elite athletes and Oscar winners, right down to the person sitting next to you in the office.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome isn’t a medical problem but a negative way of thinking that leads to missed opportunities and self-doubt. It includes thoughts like everyone else around you has life figured out, and you feel lost.

While everyone doubts themselves occasionally, if this thinking pattern starts to impose on every daily thought, it can negatively impact your life. The good news is that by recognizing you have imposter syndrome, you can start to do something about it.

According to one study, 7 in 10 adults experience imposter syndrome at some point in their life. And it’s often high achievers, hard workers, and perfectionists that are most likely to feel this way.

How to Combat Imposter Syndrome?

It is possible to overcome imposter syndrome and start to build confidence in yourself and your abilities. Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Recognize feelings from facts. When negative thoughts creep into your mind about yourself and life, observe them, be mindful of them, and remember that just because these thoughts appear doesn’t mean they’re true.
  • Remind yourself of your accomplishments. On days when nothing seems to go right, remind yourself of what you have achieved, no matter how small. Save an email that has praised you or a card that tells you how special you are, and look over these on tough days.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing your achievements to someone else who has been in the game 10 years longer will only heighten the feelings of inadequacy. Remind yourself how far you have come and focus on your own lane, not what others are doing.
  • Start to accept compliments and praise. If someone compliments you, resist the urge to shake it off. Instead, say thanks and pat yourself on the back for doing well.
  • See failure as an opportunity rather than the end. Remember that failure is a part of life, and it’s an opportunity to learn and move on with newfound knowledge. Every successful person fails, and it shows that you are trying.
  • Practice meditation for self-love. It’s easy to get lost in self-doubt and a pattern of negative thinking. Meditation allows you to see that thoughts aren’t permanent, allowing you to rest, breathe and remind yourself that you are good enough.
  • Be kind to yourself with self-compassion affirmations. Instead of self-criticizing, you can replace the negativity with self-compassion affirmations such as ‘It’s ok for me to make mistakes, learn and grow.’ Or ‘I forgive myself and accept my flaws because nobody is perfect.’

Start using BetterSleep for free to access guided meditations, soothing sleep sounds, and breathing exercises to help relax the mind and build positivity.

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