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That Fraud Feeling: 4 Tips for Conquering Imposter Syndrome

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Ever catch yourself feeling like you’re not worthy of your accomplishments? Despite the praise you receive from friends and colleagues, do you remain fearful of your inevitable exposure as a fraud?

This pesky feeling is known as imposter syndrome, and it’s a common occurrence among both men and women at varying stages of life.

I’ve experienced my fair share of imposter syndrome, both in my full-time PR job and part-time writing role.

Here are my tips for conquering that fraud feeling, so you can quit getting sidetracked by your own insecurities and stay focused on slaying your goals.

1. Acknowledge it.

    When this negative internal monologue occurs, it can be tempting to try and suppress those thoughts.

    However, it’s important to initially acknowledge these feelings of self-doubt. Take notice of when they commonly occur, and in which particular situations.

    Identifying common patterns can help you pinpoint where you need to reframe your mindset.

    For me, I’ve found that imposter syndrome tends to rear its ugly head when I’m balancing multiple projects at once.

    During these high-stress times, I often feel pressured to “prove myself” as some kind of superwoman who can seamlessly handle everything that comes my way.

    This can result in me overextending myself, and neglecting my mental health and personal relationships in the process.

    Does this self-induced pressure sound familiar? 

    Nancy Behrman, Founder and President of Behrman Communications, suggests implementing small changes for a better sense of balance.

    “I now check my messages every twenty minutes, instead of five," says Behrman. 

    Regardless of where your self-doubt traps occur, it’s important to be conscious of them.

    I now remind myself that it’s okay to say “no” to unrealistic requests and timelines, and to never feel guilty about making myself a priority.

    Imposter syndrome can cause you to put impractical expectations on yourself, and sometimes you need a little reset to bring you back to reality.

    2. Recognize your accomplishments.

      Throughout our proactive goal-setting and consistent project planning, we’re in a constant state of pressure to reach that next turning point in our career or business.

      This can often lead to imposter syndrome, as we begin second-guessing our capabilities and wondering if we’ve bitten off more than we can chew.

      When you catch yourself fixating on how far you have to go, start reminding yourself of how far you’ve come.

      Observing your successes can serve as a friendly reminder that you've accomplished much more than you thought you could when starting out.

      While goal-setting and planning should never be neglected, these practices shouldn’t serve as further fuel to beat yourself up.

      Regularly incorporate your growth journey into the conversation, and watch the self-doubt begin to disintegrate.

      3. Cut out comparisons.

        Imposter syndrome can often arise from viewing others’ accomplishments, and automatically comparing them to our own.

        When we get too preoccupied with outside success stories, it can be detrimental to our own development.

        Rather than feeling inspired and motivated as originally intended, we begin to feel discouraged and self-conscious about our own direction.

        Instead of obsessing over menial components like follower counts and number of likes, remind yourself of the big picture.

        Think about the main purpose you’re working toward, and focus on the objectives that will get YOU to the point – regardless of what everybody else is doing.

        When you make yourself your own competition, you’ll feel more secure in your ability to spearhead your success.

        And that “doing me” mentality will do wonders for your confidence.

        4. Act the part.

          I was listening to Amy Porterfield’s podcast recently, and she said something that really resonated with me.

          She mentioned that her students often ask her for tips on how to truly “stand out from the saturation." 

          However, she explained that this is the entirely wrong way to approach your business.

          Porterfield explained that today's biggest successes never worried about how to expand their reach or gain more fans. They simply plowed through, and behaved as if they had already "made it." 

          In our current age of Instagram influencers and YouTube stars, imposter syndrome is typically inevitable.

          However, the power to progress often lies in our attitude. We can complain about the competition, or we can exert the influence that we hope to have.

          And that confidence in our expertise is anything but fraudulent.

          15 Comments Add a Comment?


          Wendy Wallace

          Posted on Nov. 14, 2018, 4:31 p.m.

          Great article with tips to overcome imposter syndrome. I never knew this was a thing until recently. It makes sense, though. Thank you for your tips.



          Posted on Nov. 14, 2018, 9:34 p.m.

          These are great tips! I think we all feel this every once in awhile so it's totally important to acknowledge it and focus on the positives and our accomplishments! :) xo Chelsea |



          Posted on Nov. 15, 2018, 12:13 a.m.

          Fantastic post! I especially love your tip "cut out comparisons". This always trips me up...constantly comparing myself to others and feeling like I always come up short. Thank you for giving me the kick I need to just "do me". :)


          Taira Adair

          Posted on Nov. 15, 2018, 1:25 a.m.

          So helpful! Saving for the next time this hits me hard!



          Posted on Nov. 15, 2018, 7:27 p.m.

          I suffered from imposter syndrome when I first started my business. I was so freaked out, started to doubt everything, and lost my confidence. Everything is good now but this is no joke!


          Savannah Nelson

          Posted on Nov. 16, 2018, 1:04 a.m.

          This is exactly what I needed to read today. Impostor Syndrome is a very real and every day experience for me, and can be hard to tackle head-on. Thanks for this. :)



          Alan @ MorePassportStamps.com

          Posted on Nov. 16, 2018, 1:04 a.m.

          Couldn't agree more. Great tips, thank you! I had this recently at an exhibition I attended, plowed through it and was so glad!



          Posted on Nov. 16, 2018, 4:21 a.m.

          Great article! I never knew this was even a thing, you did a great job!


          Tammy Staley

          Posted on Nov. 16, 2018, 9:29 a.m.

          Very interesting, I never knew that there was a name for that I was feeling. Thank you for the tips!



          Posted on Nov. 16, 2018, 4:42 p.m.

          This came at the perfect time for me. I’m glad I came across this! I am feeling this way right now. I struggle with acknowledging my own accomplishments.



          Posted on Nov. 17, 2018, 11:12 a.m.

          I have struggled with imposter syndrome my entire life. Even at times when I was perfectly qualified to give information I always question whether or not I was the right person to share it. These are some great points you've covered here thank you so much for sharing!



          Posted on Nov. 19, 2018, 7:58 p.m.

          Oh wow this is great! I am doing a PhD and feel imposter syndrome all the time! This article was helpful in not feeling alone about it!



          Posted on Nov. 22, 2018, 3:25 a.m.

          All of this is soo true. I’m quite tough on myself but then I try and remember how much I’ve done and taught myself both in business and in blogging.


          Rachel Jo

          Posted on Nov. 22, 2018, 6:48 a.m.

          Great post! I didn't even know that there's a name for this feeling, I thought it's just anxiety and self-doubts altogether. Thank you!


          Sarah @ CaffeineAndConquer.com

          Posted on Nov. 23, 2018, 9:01 p.m.

          Great article! I wrote a post on Imposter Syndrome for my own blog so was interesting to read your perspective on the subject!

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