October 31, 2021
Ways for Women To Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Have you ever had that voice in your head speak, sometimes even scream at you? Saying things like:“What are you doing?” “Who do you think you are? You can’t do that”“People will make fun of you”“You aren’t that good at that, so just drop it”

Have you ever had that voice in your head speak, sometimes even scream at you? Saying things like:

“What are you doing?”

“Who do you think you are? You can’t do that”

“People will make fun of you”

“You aren’t that good at that, so just drop it”

That is the voice of your Internal Critic. This is often our constant companion, created early in childhood as our primary caregivers teach us how to blend into the world, even at the sacrifice of our essence. It is not usually done on purpose, rather it is conditioning that was conditioned upon our caregivers also, and it is then transmitted, verbally AND non-verbally, to us. Constant criticism as well as constant praise are types of parenting that can create Imposter Syndrome. Criticism tends to create self-doubt “never good enough”, while constant praise tends to create high expectations and pressure.

For women, this “condition” goes even further as we are traditionally conditioned to be wives and mothers. So anything else has been considered “too much for us.” The term “imposter syndrome” was first used in the 1970’s to describe high achieving women who suffered from anxiety and perfectionism. They question their competency and skills and tend to attribute their achievements to luck or other external forces. Regardless of how many credentials and successes they have, they worry about “being found out” and the disappointment they will cause to others. When their achievements are called out like passing an exam or receiving a hard-fought promotion, the feelings of self-doubt and anxiety can set in. It is a relatively common phenomenon: about 70% of adults have experienced these feelings at some point in their lives. For women, the number is a bit higher.

So how do we overcome this?

This is a mindset that has been created, likely early in life. Therefore, a mindset requires “re-learning.” It is about acknowledging our talents, not only our flaws. Our accomplishments, not only our failures. Comparisons to others are often at the root of this mindset so taking the time to record and reflect your accomplishments and then share them with trusted people in your life is a great way to begin owning our successes. Support and validation can go a long way to redirecting your mindset about yourself. Choose people that will lift you up, and encourage you.

Here are some ways you can begin resetting your mindset and overcoming impostor syndrome:

*Recognize your talents, achievements and successes.

*Use your mistakes as mile markers, tools to redirect yourself.

*Record your talents - put it in writing. This will serve as a reminder and will keep you feeling positive.

*Reflect on what and how far you have come. Create a support team.

*Reward yourself! Don’t feel ashamed to pat yourself on the back and be your own cheerleader.

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