I have heard a lot of talk over the past few years about a concept called imposter syndrome. For those who haven’t heard about it, imposter syndrome is the feeling that anything you do is not enough and that you are an imposter in your success. It’s the idea that your success is from sheer luck and not your hard work.
We’ve all had that feeling at least once in our lives. But what causes it? And what do you do to overcome this feeling of “not doing enough?”
What Causes Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome can be caused by several mental health such as depression and anxiety. However, that feeling of “not doing enough” can also be caused by an issue in your environment, from work to home life.
Pressure: One of the most common causes is pressure. Growing up, someone said you have to be better, do better, and do more so you can succeed in your life. It could be your parents, teachers, or your need to achieve, which can develop a constant voice in your head that you’re never doing enough to be great.
Comparison: The invention of social media has cultivated a constant need to compare ourselves to others. We feel like if someone younger than us can have a lavish life traveling the world, then we must be doing something wrong. It’s difficult to escape when it’s so easily accessible on our phones.
Perfectionism: The biggest thing that holds you back is the need to be perfect. You need to be excellent at work, raise a family, be a good partner and friend, and the list continues. This perfectionism will make you feel like anything less than perfect is a failure.
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
While it can sometimes feel as if there’s no way of getting out of the imposter syndrome hole, there are tools readily available to you to overcome this need to do more constantly.
Set Realistic Expectations
Setting realistic expectations is the most important way to break down the imposter syndrome. You’ll probably not finish the 30 tasks on your list in one day. The chances of you reaching the same level of success as someone who has been working for ten are slim. Setting realistic goals can help you appreciate your achievements.
Learn the Facts
What are the facts in your life? When that feeling of not doing enough blinds you, you only see everything you think is wrong in your life. Focus on the facts of your success: you work hard to build a good life, you raise some kids that are decent people, or you just got up and brushed your teeth today! Sometime, it might not be much but remember, it’s something.
Talk to Someone
You are not alone. Turn this into a mantra. Some days, it may not seem like it, but there ARE people in your life who care. It could be a family member or a friend, and it could be the person at the local coffee shop you see everyday on your way to work. Maybe it’s your therapist. Find someone you can talk to and start taking the world's weight off your shoulders.
Celebrate Your Successes
It doesn’t matter how big or small the win is; you deserve to be celebrated. Take out a coffee to get out of the house. Pamper yourself for having a week where you didn’t go off on someone. These little celebrations will remind you how much you’re doing daily.
Life is hard. It’s filled with things that feel like they need to get done right that second. However, you don’t need to constantly put yourself down if you’re stumbling from time to time. We all stumble and struggle, some more than others, but we still make it through the day. We’re still living, breathing, and taking the next step into the future. Who knows? Perhaps the next day will surprise you.
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