How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome And Be Confident In Your Ability

EnvisionCloud Blog Post

“Now when I receive recognition for my acting, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I tend to turn in on myself. I feel like an imposter. Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved.”  - Emma Watson

Everyone experiences feelings of self-doubt at some point in their lives, even celebrities who seem confident. But for people with imposter syndrome, these feelings are constant and overwhelming. Imposter syndrome can cause people to doubt their accomplishments and question their abilities, even though they may be highly qualified and experienced.

What is imposter syndrome, and why does it affect digital agencies? This article will go through what impostor syndrome is, how it affects businesses, and some solutions for overcoming it.

1. What is Imposter Syndrome?

Impostor syndrome, or fraud syndrome, is a term coined by clinical psychologists Dr Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes referring to high-achieving individuals who are unable to internalize their accomplishments. People with imposter syndrome often constantly worry that their success is down to luck or chance, rather than skill and ability.

Imposter syndrome is used to describe the feelings of self-doubt and insecurity that some people experience despite having accomplishments or qualifications. People with imposter syndrome often feel like they are frauds and that they will be exposed as such at any moment. They may doubt their abilities and question their accomplishments, even though there is evidence to suggest that they are competent.

How common is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is thought to be quite common, affecting an estimated 70% of people at some point in their lives. However, it is particularly prevalent among high-achieving women, who are twice as likely to experience it as men.

2. What Causes Imposter Syndrome?

There is no one single cause of imposter syndrome. Some people may be more likely to experience it due to their personality traits or upbringing, while other factors such as stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem can also contribute.

  • Personal characteristics: Imposter syndrome may be exacerbated by perfectionism.
  • Family circumstances: Family ideals and the importance of achievement and perfection in childhood may be carried over into adulthood.
  • Cultural expectations: Different cultures have different ideas about education, work, and what constitutes success.
  • Comparison: Comparing yourself to other people can make you feel bad if you're not doing as well as they are.

3. Signs And Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome

Because impostor syndrome is not considered a mental health disorder, no list of specific symptoms is available to identify it. Researchers, on the other hand, have studied numerous people who suffer from impostor syndrome and discovered several recurring patterns.

There are a number of signs and symptoms associated with imposter syndrome, including intrusive thoughts about being exposed as a fraud, projecting negative outcomes in the near future, and avoiding situations where success is possible.

People with impostor syndrome often describe experiences like an extreme need for perfectionism, feelings of anger or irritation when praised, questioning authority figures who offer praise, and an extreme fear of failure.

4. How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Business owners and freelancers must overcome feelings of imposter syndrome because they can have a negative impact on the work they produce and their relationships with clients.

It can also prevent people from taking on opportunities for fear of not being able to meet the challenge, and limit their career progression because they don't believe in themselves. If you don't find a way to get past these feelings, your business will suffer.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for overcoming imposter syndrome as every person's experience is unique. However, some useful tips for dealing with the condition include:

- Acknowledge that imposter syndrome is a common phenomenon and you are not alone in experiencing it.
- Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes at some point - accept this and move on.
- Setting achievable goals and taking small steps toward achieving them; trying not to expect perfection or aim for the stars right away
- Practicing mindfulness exercises to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety- Being open with people you trust about your feelings
- Accepting compliments; not trying to downplay them or dismiss them
- Looking after yourself physically by exercising regularly, eating well, and getting enough sleep
- Joining support groups or online forums for people with imposter syndrome
- Practice self-compassion; be kind to yourself when things go wrong
- Stop comparing your successes with someone else's, and give yourself permission to be proud of your accomplishments
- Seek out positive role models and mentors who can help boost your confidence
- Stay focused on your goals and remember why you want to achieve them
- Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

5. The Importance of Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is an important part of overcoming imposter syndrome. When you are kind and understanding to yourself, even when you make mistakes, it becomes easier to accept your flaws and work on improving them. Self-compassion can also help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, which can contribute to imposter syndrome.

What does self-compassion look like?

  • Setting achievable goals and taking small steps toward achieving them; trying not to expect perfection or aim for the stars right away
  • Practicing mindfulness exercises to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Being open with people you trust about your feelings
  • Accepting compliments; not trying to downplay them or dismiss them

6. Seek Support and Grow Your Business

Overcoming imposter syndrome isn't just practicing mindfulness and increasing your prices. It's also about constantly working to improve your mindset and your business in general.

Imposter syndrome can make you feel like an imposter when in professional relationships with others who have more experience, greater expertise in the field, or higher qualifications than you do. But these people understand what it is like to be successful and that there is no substitute for hard work, so they are likely to respect you for your achievements.

You may want to consider hiring a coach or joining a mastermind group. These people will help to keep you accountable and work on your confidence, both of which are important for overcoming imposter syndrome.

In Conclusion: Imposter syndrome can be debilitating, but it is possible to overcome. Whether you have imposter syndrome because of your personality traits or upbringing, the key is to remember that you are not alone and there are ways to deal with your feelings.

With some self-awareness and a little work it can be overcome!