6 Imposter Syndrome Exercises to Help You Embrace Your Greatness

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Do you have a habit of questioning your own skills, competence, or intelligence? Do you feel uneasy at work because you believe you are not qualified or skilled enough for the job? Or that your recent achievement was just down to luck? Do you have difficulty accepting praise? Or do you minimize your accomplishments out of concern that people will discover you are a fraud?

Because if you do, you may have imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome exercises might help you gain confidence and let go of self-limiting thoughts. But what exactly is imposter (also called impostor) syndrome?

What Is Imposter Syndrome and Where Does It Come From?

Imposter syndrome is characterized by chronic self-doubt that prevents you from internalizing success. If you suffer from impostor syndrome, you may believe you are unintelligent, incompetent, and unqualified. You may constantly be afraid of being exposed as a phony by others.

Psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes coined the term “imposter syndrome” to describe the feeling in highly accomplished women that their academic and professional success is due to things other than their own capability.

So, if you have imposter syndrome, you might feel like you don’t belong where you are, minimizing your own success and believing you don’t deserve recognition for your achievements.

Causes of not being able to internalize success include personality traits like low confidence and perfectionism, your upbringing, mental health problems you already have, and cultural expectations.

For example, research shows that early childhood experiences strongly relate to developing imposter syndrome in adolescence and adulthood. If you grew up in a family that valued accomplishment and intelligence, with continual conflicts and a high level of control but lacked positive affection and emotional support, you might develop impostor syndrome later in life.

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Who Suffers from Imposter Syndrome?

Research shows that up to 70% of people will feel like a fraud at some point in their lives. Imposter syndrome can manifest at work, at school, and in relationships.

However, some studies suggest that women and minority groups experience imposter syndrome excessively. For example, a study in the UK found that 90% of British women feel like they are not good enough.

Imposter syndrome is especially prevalent among successful women who, despite their accomplishments, feel inadequate. Imposter syndrome affects strong, successful women because of gender stereotypes that make them feel like they aren’t good enough and that their success must have come from luck, connections, or good timing.

6 Imposter Syndrome Exercises to Help You Embrace Your Greatness

Self-limiting beliefs, at the root of impostor syndrome, will not boost your self-esteem or drive you to improve your performance. Conversely, self-sabotaging ideas can lead to poor self-esteem and confidence, anxiety, and depression. They have the power to keep you from establishing meaningful connections and living the life you deserve.

To overcome emotions of inadequacy and falsity, you may set higher criteria for yourself and strive harder to achieve them. However, this stress can negatively affect your mental health, performance, and general well-being.

So, here are 6 imposter syndrome exercises to help you accept yourself and embrace your excellence.

1. Make a List of Things You Are Qualified For and are Great At

Begin conquering impostor syndrome by brainstorming your skills, credentials, and abilities. This might include anything from your athletic skills to academic credentials. Listing your skills and qualifications will increase your self-awareness and confidence.

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2. Pay Attention to Your Self-Talk (and Be Kind to Yourself)

Journaling and mindfulness can help you identify and monitor self-defeating thoughts. Whenever you feel worthless, consider how accurate this perception is, whether there is evidence to support it, and how this belief serves you. Such self-reflection will urge you to be more self-compassionate and kind to yourself.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks

Failing to address imposter syndrome can prevent you from seizing opportunities and finding your passion in life

For instance, if you believe you are underqualified, you may be unable to obtain a promotion or leadership possibilities at work. Or you may not qualify for an internship because you underestimate your skills and knowledge.

So, don’t let your inner judge take down new prospects. Say “yes” to a new work opportunity, promotion, or role. Getting out of your comfort zone can offer many opportunities to learn, grow, and prosper.

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4. Abandon Perfectionism

Many people who are high achievers and perfectionists suffer from imposter syndrome. Because they believe they are not good enough, people with imposter syndrome frequently set unrealistically high or unachievable goals, demanding themselves for every failure.

Perfectionism is strongly linked to an intense fear of failure. If you are a perfectionist, you may only feel worthy when you are successful.

So, take a step back and consider your objectives carefully. Set achievable goals and remember that mistakes are not that bad, as they provide learning opportunities.

5. Keep Track of Your Successes

Keep note of your accomplishments in a journal or organizer to help you overcome impostor syndrome. Analyze your previous wins and setbacks, and learn from them. Try concentrating on your greatest assets and learning how to use them to overcome impostor syndrome.

6. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparing yourself to others can lead to feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Instead of comparing yourself to other people, focus on your own growth and improvement. Compare your past self to your current self, taking note of your strengths and keeping in mind the skills you need to work on to gain confidence and accept your greatness.

Learning to Embrace Imposter Syndrome

You will be able to deal with imposter syndrome once you know how to recognize its signs and why they happen.

Positive affirmations can help you overcome impostor syndrome. What you say about yourself can alter your perception of yourself. Positive words about yourself might help you reframe your views and claim achievements. Learning to let go of these old narratives can take time, and work and sometimes require having a coach to help you see where the false beliefs are holding you back. If you are ready to move forward without these old stories book a time to speak at www.chatwithkamini.com

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Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood

Kamini Wood is a Certified Life Coach, and best-selling author. Her mission is to empower high-performing adults and teens to become resilient self-leaders by reducing stress and anxiety, overcoming imposter syndrome, working through trauma, and re-discovering their AuthenticMe®.

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My name is Kamini Wood, and I’m here to accompany you on your journey toward understanding yourself on a deeper level so can create the life you want personally and professionally. It’s time to embrace your AuthenticMe ™