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Understanding Impostor Syndrome: You Belong Here

Imagine that a colleague or employer just gave you a compliment on the fantastic job you’ve been doing lately. What are the thoughts running through your head? While many people receive a compliment at face value, believing that they deserve the admiration or declaration of a job-well-done, many others immediately feel a sense of guilt or dismay.

Do you ever feel like you don’t deserve to be acknowledged for your accomplishments? Like you aren’t as capable or hard-working as others think? Like you’ll be found out at any moment and labeled a fraud? It’s almost as if you’ve been wearing the mask of a responsible, talented adult and that any moment that mask will dissipate, leaving your true self naked for the world to see.

You Are Not Alone

If you’ve ever felt this way, know that you’re not alone. Many of us have dealt with this feeling at one point in our lives or another. So many, in fact, that this feeling has even been given a name: Impostor Syndrome.

If you’ve ever dealt with these feelings of fraudulence or phoniness, this guide is for you. We want to teach you what you need to know about Impostor Syndrome and how best to treat it because you deserve to be recognized. And more than that, you deserve to recognize and celebrate your achievements.

Learning more about this syndrome will help you realize that you don’t have to live with these feelings and that you are just as wonderful, talented, hard-working, and capable as those around you claim.

Man stands alone on a dock facing the water.

What is Impostor Syndrome?

The term Impostor Phenomenon was created by Dr. Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978. The coining of this term led to a study that found two results to be true, including that a number of women found themselves to be over-rated and considered themselves as lacking intelligence. Talk about a need for some female empowerment!

While this isn’t considered to be a clinical condition, there are symptoms associated with Impostor Syndrome, including:

  • Overwhelming self-doubt
  • Believing that personal success is derived exclusively from luck or chance
  • Believing that accolades are undeserved
  • A feeling that one will be “found out” for not knowing what is going on
  • Feeling though everyone is entirely competent while you aren’t at all
  • Unwillingness or inability to celebrate accomplishments
  • Unwillingness or inability to take on new responsibilities
  • Suppressing intelligence or increasing friendliness to win others over

Impostor Syndrome can happen to anyone, and it isn’t always chronic. Some people experience Impostor Syndrome in the face of a great accomplishment or achievement, while others might experience it throughout their lives. It can happen to both men and women of all races and classes.

Take the great author and poet Maya Angelou, for example, who is often quoted as an ambassador for those of us living with Impostor Syndrome:

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find me out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”

There are very few of us who would doubt the talent and validity of Maya Angelou. Yet someone so influential and beneficial to society feels the same way we all do sometimes.

Read This Next: What is the Law of Attraction & How Can You Use It?

How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

There are many ways that you can begin to overcome these feelings, and most of them include self-care and lifting yourself up. Self-love is crucial for so many aspects of our lives to function smoothly, from our mental health to our physical health. Impostor Syndrome is just one of the many things that can be treated by learning to love and accept yourself.

Two friends stand in a field holding daisies in front of their faces.

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are a simple and effective way to start allowing your mind to process different, more positive thoughts regarding yourself; and they can be practiced in many ways. You might start by looking in the mirror once and day and saying one thing you like about yourself out loud.

You could even try making your own deck of Daily Affirmation Cards, infused with your creativity and charm. Positive affirmations relate to cognitive behavior, training your brain to replace negative thoughts with more beneficial, healing thoughts. When you begin telling yourself how wonderful you are each day, you’ll learn to finally believe it.

Mindfulness & Self-Talk

When we recognize these feelings, we can tackle them head-on and create coping mechanisms to replace the bad feelings at the moment. Create mantras like “I am learning every day,” I have worked hard to be here,” “everyone feels like an impostor sometimes,” or simply, “I belong here.”

Once we lower the rate of negative self-talk, we begin to feel the confident benefits of our mindfulness.

Crystal Healing

There are so many things that crystals are excellent for in life, and healing Impostor Syndrome is no exception. Working with crystals that increase confidence and self-love will help you see yourself for the bright, shining star that you are.

The best crystals for Impostor Syndrome include:

  • Rose Quartz
  • Selenite
  • Amethyst
  • Hematite
  • Citrine
  • Carnelian
  • Labradorite
  • Moonstone

Yoga

Yoga is an amazing practice because it helps synchronize the body and the mind while releasing negative emotions. Yoga also helps you feel even stronger and more capable. Practicing yoga each morning will remind you that you can do anything while making your body feel healthy and limber.

Self-Care

Your self-care routine is crucial for mental and emotional health. And chances are if you’ve been feeling like an impostor lately, you’ve been neglecting your self-care needs. Book an appointment with your local massage therapist or create a spa day in your own home.

Treat yourself to a glass of red wine, some dark chocolate, and a good book. Or, cozy up with a cup of herbal tea and your favorite book. Sit down with your journal and make a list of everything you’re grateful for. Spend a day in the park, soaking up the sun, the wind, and the vibrations of nature.

Taking care of yourself is not only beneficial, it’s necessary.

Celebrating Your Achievements

Remember, you wouldn’t be rewarded without cause. The work you’re doing is incredible, and if those around you are taking notice, you should too! When you’ve accomplished a goal, it is not only your right, it is your duty to celebrate yourself. Recognizing your talents and skills doesn’t make you egotistical, it makes you confident, healthy, and happy.

Related Article: Powerful Poses: The Secret to Confident Body Language

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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