5 Tips For Overcoming Imposter Syndrome As An Adult

Krystal Emerson

A woman standing in front of a pink background.Moose Photos/Pexels

Imposter syndrome affects many people, young and old alike. The feeling that you are not good enough or won’t succeed is a common phenomenon in the working world. It can be difficult to overcome it as an adult, but there are ways to overcome imposter syndrome. 

Imposter Syndrome, also known as Impostor Phenomenon, was coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978. It's characterized by high-achieving individuals who constantly fear they're about to be unmasked for not actually being intelligent or competent enough to hold their positions. They'll often avoid new challenges and give up if things get too hard.

When you are constantly striving for perfection in your career, it can be hard to take a step back and say, "I did this." It's even harder when there is no one around who understands the feeling. Imposter syndrome is common among adults who experience feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt despite evidence of their competence. 

1. Recognize that you're not alone

It is not uncommon for adults to experience Imposter Syndrome, which can be very difficult to overcome. It's a syndrome that many people have experienced in the workforce as they struggle with recognizing their own accomplishments and abilities while constantly feeling like they're just going through the motions of their day-to-day work.  

It is something that we can all struggle with at some point in our lives, regardless of you have achieved great things or not. It can happen to anyone, even when they have skills and qualifications that make them capable of doing what they do. 

It's okay if we feel unsure of ourselves sometimes because it doesn't mean we need to be discouraged or give up on our dreams. The important thing is recognizing these feelings for what they really are. Don't let self-doubt stop you from achieving your goals.

2. Find a mentor or therapist who can help you

Imposter Syndrome can be an isolating condition that makes it difficult for sufferers with this disorder to ask for help from mentors or colleagues when needed. If you feel like there's nothing you can do because you feel inadequate constantly, the best thing you can do is reach out for help.

The more we understand ourselves, the less likely we will be taken advantage of by others or fall victim to self-defeating thoughts. You must know what your triggers are and take steps in advance so that you can avoid them when they happen. The most important thing for anyone with imposter syndrome is understanding why it happens and what needs to be done not to return.

Imposter syndrome is a feeling of inadequacy that many people experience when they are in positions where they feel like they don't belong. If you find yourself struggling to overcome this feeling, make sure to reach out for help from someone who can provide guidance and advice on coping.

3. Put in the hard work and take time for yourself when needed

It's difficult to find the balance between working hard and taking time for yourself. However, it is necessary to do so to overcome imposter syndrome. It's a myth that only those with low self-confidence feel this way. In fact, anyone can have imposter syndrome at any time.

You need to put in the hard work. Imposter Syndrome is just as much about our internal thoughts as external factors such as grades or feedback from others. We are constantly working on improving ourselves by pushing the envelope, doing more than expected, and exceeding expectations even when we don't think we can do it.

You may be more likely to experience this if you are in a leadership position or the first person from your background in your industry to make it on such a high level. It's important to take time for yourself when you need it and learn how to manage your stress levels with self-care practices. This will help you overcome the feeling of being an imposter, reach your goals, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

4. Remember that there are no shortcuts to success

The worst thing about this syndrome is that no matter how many successes we achieve, whether small or large, we always feel like we don't deserve them because there are no shortcuts to success.

We have all felt that sense of inadequacy when we know what needs to be done but can't seem to get it done. We convince ourselves that there is a shortcut and then feel guilty for not doing the right thing.

The truth is, you are human. You're allowed to procrastinate sometimes or take an easier route if it's needed. But don't forget why you started in the first place: because deep down inside of you, there is greatness just waiting for the chance to shine.

5. Learn how to say "no" without guilt or regret

If you find yourself feeling like a fraud, imposter syndrome is no joke. It can make work and personal life difficult, and it's not something that will go away on its own. When we learn to say "no" without guilt or regret, we acknowledge our right to choose what we want for ourselves and challenge the idea that there is anything wrong with us for needing some time off or taking care of our mental health.

It's a terrible feeling that leaves many people feeling guilty for working hard or claiming credit for their accomplishments. Learn some ways to say "no" without guilt or regret to overcome imposter syndrome. Saying no when you mean yes may be uncomfortable for some people, but there are ways to say no without guilt or regret, even if your feelings about saying no might change later on down the road.

It's time to stop letting imposter syndrome get the best of you and take control. If only it were so easy as just saying "no." But how do we learn how to say no without feeling guilty about it, especially when we're already beating ourselves up for not being good enough? With a little patience and effort, practicing self-care will become second nature.

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