3 Signs You’re Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

By kimberly

Ever question your successes in life? Struggle with nagging self-doubt? You could be wrestling with imposter syndrome! Imposter syndrome is a psychological term for when you believe that you are inadequate and perhaps even a failure, despite contrary evidence. When you start to make the life-changing shift from stay-at-home caretaker to career professional, it’s easy to let these thoughts sneak in.

So, what does this look like? Here are 3 signs that you’re dealing with imposter syndrome:

  1. You feel that in order to compete with those around you, you must put in extra effort. You constantly go the extra mile, even when it’s not necessary. In other words, you end up working harder and longer than others to prove your worth, otherwise you’ll feel like a phony in comparison.
  2. You believe you must accomplish everything on your own in order to prove your worth. You’d rather crawl under a rock than ask for help. At any point in your life, having a mentor seems like an embarrassment.
  3. You strive to know everything you can on various subjects (industry, hobby, etc.) and live in fear of being stumped and considered anything other than an expert. You feel like you can never know enough and seek out constant courses to improve your knowledge.

Sound familiar? If so, this is most likely resulting in you feeling like a fraud and blaming any success you’ve had in life is on “luck.” Maybe you’re constantly questioning your own judgement. No matter how imposter syndrome plays out, the result is anxiety and overall mental exhaustion. But don’t worry – you can start to change your mindset with a few simple exercises. 

Awareness that imposter syndrome has creeped in is an excellent start. Acknowledging these thoughts without judgement will help you take a step back and think, “Is this thought actually true?” Or try, “Does this thought help me?” Next step is to either journal about it, perhaps finding examples that oppose the negative thoughts. Try also talking it out with a peer support group or coach, both who can encourage you to list and celebrate your skills and accomplishments. And if you are local, come to one of the Community, Coffee, and Coaching events – here you’ll find a support group of like-minded individuals.