Imposter Syndrome is something many people struggle with—those feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, or unworthy of their success.  

Despite apparent successes, people still feel like a fraud. They downplay compliments and attribute their success to others or luck.  

Many of my clients experience imposter syndrome, and I know I have experienced it myself. It was a big part of my corporate life and the start of my entrepreneurial journey.  

Let’s have a closer look at imposter syndrome and how to overcome it.

Understanding imposter syndrome? 

Imposter syndrome is rooted in self-doubt and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud, even when there is no rational reason for these beliefs. These feelings can hold you back from pursuing opportunities, reaching your full potential, or experiencing your own achievements.  

Imposter syndrome is common among women, but both males and females suffer from it.  

Here are a few common signs of imposter syndrome: 

  • Self-doubt:  you constantly question your abilities and feel you are not as competent as others perceive you to be.
  • Perfectionism: You set unrealistically high standards for yourself and fear failure, often leading to procrastination
  • Overworking: you may overcompensate by working excessively hard to prove your worth 
  • Downplaying success: you attribute your achievements to external factors such as luck rather than acknowledging your hard work and skill. 

For one of my clients, she feels like she is not worth what her peers charge for similar work. She puts roadblocks in front of herself to stop herself from moving forward because she doesn’t think she knows the right thing to do. Yet, she is fabulous. 

‍This feeling of being an imposter isn’t present all of the time. For many, it is a moment of doubt or self-judgment. Feelings of shame, guilt, or embarrassment surface despite seeing all the positive results from your work or efforts. These feelings then hold you back. 

You may even know these thoughts are false and don’t serve you, yet they persist.  

So, how do you change these limiting beliefs so that you can be proud of your accomplishments and realize how incredible you are?   ‍

‍‍Acknowledge your feelings

‍The first step to change these beliefs is recognizing that you suffer from imposter syndrome. You can’t face something if you don’t want to look at it.  

Once you own the problem, you can take the necessary actions to change it.  

Using the list above can help you identify if you have imposter syndrome. 

Mindset is key

Once you identify that you are suffering from imposter system, it’s important to change your perspective. To focus on your accomplishments and your abilities. 

I recommend keeping a list of all of your accomplishments. If you have trouble creating this list, ask friends and peers to help you cultivate the list. You will be surprised by what they share with you as your successes. 

Once, someone told me I was brave. I laughed at them because I’m afraid of a lot. But they then shared that becoming an entrepreneur was brave to them. As I thought about it, I realized that they were right. Becoming an entrepreneur has been one of my life’s most challenging, freighting journeys and the most rewarding. In that way, I am brave (or crazy). 

It is important to remember that nobody is perfect; you will make mistakes, and as long as you use the experiences to learn and grow, they are not bad experiences. 

Celebrate often

Above, I recommended keeping a list of successes, a brag file. Recognizing and celebrating your accomplishments often is essential, without attributing them to luck or external factors. 

‍Keep a file with thank you letters, testimonials, awards, and more. Pull it out regularly to remind yourself you are amazing. 

We all focus on looking forward, but sometimes, it is a good idea to look back so you can see how far you have come.  

Embrace continuous learning

The world is changing so fast now, and there is always more to learn and more to try. No person can know anything; most of us learn through trial and error. The key is to accept that mistakes are a part of growth and that continuous learning is the key to success.  

Become a lifelong student. Read books from your industry, read different viewpoints, and embrace learning opportunities.  

Keep pushing yourself to learn more, do better, and improve, but don’t use it to hold yourself back. Everyone starts at the beginning, and you will learn as you go.  

So many people think they need another certificate, degree, or something before….

You don’t. 

Don’t let the belief you need more education to hold you back.   This is imposter syndrome talking.  

Visualize Success

Visualization is a power tool. The key is to do it regularly and ensure your visions are detailed. Feel what you would feel, see what you would see, smell what you would smell, hear what you would hear. Immerse yourself in the visualization. 

This is a technique that athletes and celebrities use. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between real life and visualization, so use it to your advantage.  

Get help.  

The right coach can help with imposter syndrome. 

Find a coach with strategies and tools to help you clear out negative emotions, limiting beliefs, conflicting values, and more. 

A coach that combines this mindset work with business coaching can help you achieve success faster than if you try to overcome imposter syndrome alone.  

Imposter syndrome is common and can have a significant negative impact on your business, even your life. Every time I reach a new level of growth, I hit a bit of imposter syndrome. This is why I am constantly working with my coach. She helps me clear the noise in my mind so I can get out of my way.  

Start by acknowledging your feelings, shifting your mindset, celebrating your successes, becoming a lifelong learner, visualizing your success, and most importantly, getting help and embracing your worth. 

The world needs you and the gifts that you offer. Don’t hold yourself back. 

If you want to talk more about imposter syndrome, reach out to book a virtual coffee with me. 

Acknowledge your fear, understand it, and then get comfortable wxisting in a space with it.

Allie Dattilio

Let’s stay connected. I offer monthly tips to help you with productivity and self-leadership.

Want to learn more about how I can help? I offer a free 30-minute strategy session. Book HERE