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Now and then, good things will happen to you. You’ll be happy, but then you question if you deserve these good things. Even though you’ve worked hard, you don’t honestly believe that you deserve this success. If you’ve ever had this feeling, you may suffer from imposter syndrome. The dictionary defines imposter syndrome as the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has legitimately achieved due to one’s efforts or skills.

What causes Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome can be the result of multiple factors, including personality traits like perfectionism. When you’re a perfectionist, you want everything to go flawlessly without any hiccups. Perfectionism can cause imposter syndrome because when something goes wrong, you immediately think that you don’t deserve your achievements or success. Almost everyone is susceptible to imposter syndrome as well. It’s not something that affects one gender or race more than others. So how do you fight the feelings of imposter syndrome and start walking into your purpose? Here are a few tips that you can try.

It would be wise to talk about your feelings with a trusted friend or possibly a therapist. Embarrassment has a way of keeping a lot of people from talking about their deceptive feelings. You may feel silly for feeling the way you do or assume that no one understands what you’re going through. Knowing there’s a name for your feelings and that you’re not alone can be very helpful. Talking about your feelings may also encourage others to share their feelings about imposter syndrome. If you find that your friends aren’t beneficial, it may be wise to consider talking about your senses with a therapist or a mentor.

Recognize when you feel deceptive.

A sense of belonging can be a confidence builder. If you’re one of the few people in a meeting, classroom, or workplace who looks or sounds like you, then it’s natural for you to feel out of place. You can feel like an outsider if everyone in the room is a lot older or younger than you. Plus, if you’re the first woman or person of color, there’s added pressure to represent your entire group. Instead of taking your self-doubt as a sign of incompetence, recognize that this is a normal response. Everyone will feel out of place now and then, but don’t let that stop you from achieving your dreams.

Separate your feelings from the facts.

Separating how you feel from the truth can be the most challenging part of fighting imposter syndrome. It means that you have to recognize that your feelings aren’t always the truth. When you start accepting your feelings as facts, you create a world of confusion that’s unnecessary. It happens to everyone from time to time. For example, there will be times where you feel stupid. However, just because you feel silly doesn’t mean you are stupid. When dealing with imposter syndrome, your feelings have a way of deceiving you. In these moments, don’t let your feelings take over. Instead, it would be best if you tried focusing on what you know is true.

Accentuate the positive.

Being a perfectionist can be a good and bad thing. On the negative side, it may cause you to obsess over your work and make you feel like a failure if you fail. However, on the positive side, it means that you care deeply about your work. It would be best if you continued to care deeply about your work and strive for excellence when it matters most. However, don’t persevere over routine tasks and forgive yourself when you make mistakes. Remembering the positive can help you when you start feeling down about yourself and question your success. Also, take some time to celebrate your achievements.

Develop a healthy response to failure.

Some people see failure as a bad thing. However, failure allows you to start over with more information. Instead of beating yourself up about falling short, think about what your failure is teaching you. Take the information that you’ve learned and apply it so that you can try again. For example, consider the way athletes handle losing a game; they don’t wallow in their loss. Instead, they take what they’ve learned from the loss and apply it to the next round. In these moments, you should also recognize that failure is healthy. You’re not going to be perfect at everything. Instead, handle your failures the same way athletes take their shortcomings.

Don't let the negative overwhelm you.

Fighting imposter syndrome can be an uphill battle, but it is possible. The key to overcoming it is to keep a positive mindset. Whenever you encounter a negative, look at it from a different perspective and turn it into a positive. For example, when you inevitably fail, don’t dwell on that failure. Instead, take that failure and turn it around. Find out what you can learn from it, and try again when you’re ready. It can also be helpful to recognize when your negative feelings are taking over. By recognizing this, you can learn to control your negative emotions and replace them with positive ones.

Imposter syndrome has a way of taking your joy in the happiest moments. For example, you finally got the job you always wanted. Although you’re so glad that you got the job, you start questioning whether you deserve it or not. You know what you’ve accomplished, but that little voice in your head tells you that you don’t deserve it. Whenever you hear that little voice of self-doubt in your head, please ignore it. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are, and you should celebrate your accomplishments. Imposter syndrome will tell you that you shouldn’t go after what you want because you don’t deserve it. However, this isn’t true. It would help if you believed that whatever you want in life is attainable. There will be times when you fall short, but if you don’t succeed at first, try again. Keep trying until you get what you want, even if it takes longer than expected. At the end of it, you’ll be glad you kept trying.

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