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Three Ways to Combat Impostor Syndrome

self Jan 29, 2018

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If you find yourself feeling like a phony despite your personal and professional achievements, you’re not alone.

Even we’ve felt this way, something Joanna describes here:

“I always had this voice in my head that told me I wasn’t good enough. At 12-years-old, I watched a motivational speaker change a woman's entire perspective about herself in one interaction. I knew that's what I wanted to do with my life. In my unending quest to live this dream, I had to fight this voice every step of the way. My battle with this voice was the inspiration behind the Dethroning Your Inner Critic work.”

Even Oscar-winner Viola Davis and three-time Oscar-nominee Michelle Pfeiffer have struggled with these thoughts.

"It feels like my hard work has paid off, but at the same time I still have the impostor, you know, syndrome," Davis told ABC News after winning an Academy Award. “I still feel like I'm going to wake up and everybody's going to see me for the hack I am.”

In a 2002 interview, Michelle Pfeiffer said, “I still think people will find out that I’m really not very talented. I’m really not very good. It’s all been a big sham.”

Why do so many women struggle with this feeling of inadequacy and persistent self-doubt, despite their high achievements in life?

It doesn't matter who you are, or how you were raised. The feeling can strike anyone at any time, even the most accomplished women.

We live in a culture that teaches us that our self worth is connected to our accomplishments and how other people view us.

Our worth as children is connected to our grades.

Our praise comes from parents, teachers and how our peers see us.

Our culture does not foster a way to value ourselves for our intrinsic self worth.

Instead, we grow up in a world worried about how we’re perceived by others, overlooking successes and focusing on perceived flaws and imperfections.

What's worse: The message is that we have to hide those perceived flaws.

We listen to the voice in our mind, thinking, "I know I'm not as good as everyone thinks I am, but I can't let them know that."

This is the birth of your Inner Critic. Most people don't know this voice is their Inner Critic. They think it's the truth. This is what creates Impostor Syndrome.

Thankfully, the Inner Critic’s negative chatter is just a story. You have the power to Dethrone Your Inner Critic’s impostor story with these three tips:

1) Set attainable standards for yourself. When you’re reaching for the impossibility of perfection, you’re allowing your Inner Critic to destroy your ability to appreciate your accomplishments. Acknowledge yourself for the ground you have taken, even when you perceive your achievements as small. Get in the habit of doing this for others as well.    

2) Accept a compliment. When someone says “You're a great friend” or “You’re really talented,” respond with a “Thank you!” instead of a performative “It’s no big deal” or another self-effacing reply.  Allow your Authentic Self to take in the compliment.

3) Stop saying you’re lucky. Yes, life often put us in the right place at the right time. AND you needed to be prepared before you were even ready for that right place or you’d miss out on that right time. You put in the work. Own it!

With these three tips, you can start to Dethrone Your Inner Critic, combat Impostor Syndrome and let your Authentic Self shine! 

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