You’re smart. You make regular sales. Your clients love you. And yet…
Self-doubt frequently stops you in your tracks.
More often than you’d like to admit, you feel like a complete and total fraud. You’re certain you don’t measure up to your peers and it feels like it’s just a matter of time before everyone realizes it, too.
Sound familiar? It’s called Imposter Syndrome—and most smart, high-achieving women grapple with it from time to time (or all the freaking time).
Imposter Syndrome is the biggest challenge most of my clients face. When we work on this issue together, we spend time reflecting on when and why it took root, rewriting those beliefs, and developing tools for silencing the nasty inner critic when it pipes up.
Ready to feel more confident? Here are my three best tips for quieting Imposter Syndrome so self-doubt no longer holds you back from next-level success.
1. Don’t feed the beast
Here’s how most of my super smart clients try to fight Imposter Syndrome: They scold themselves.
“This is so stupid. Why can’t I just get over this?”
“I know better than this. Stop being an idiot!”
Here’s the problem with trying to berate yourself out of Imposter Syndrome. It only serves to feed the beast.
Belittling yourself reinforces the negative thoughts you’re already having. Saying “you’re stupid” when you’re feeling stupid just gives your inner critic more fuel for the fire. It tells that voice it’s correct, which only serves to amplify it.
You have to love your way out of Imposter Syndrome, which brings me to my next tip…
2. Tap into your empathy
Instead of yelling at your inner critic, give her a hug. Think of it like a scared toddler, who just wants to be heard and loved.
The next time that voice pipes up telling you that you’re not good (or smart, pretty, experienced) enough, take a moment to hear it out. Listen to what it has to say, thank it for its concern, and then politely tell it to pipe down.
Try saying something like: “Thanks for trying to protect me from being hurt (or disappointed, embarrassed, etc.), but I’ll be okay.”
It sounds silly, I know, but doing this little exercise can totally reframe your thoughts. Quiet that nagging voice by giving yourself loving, compassionate permission to take a risk in the face of fear.
3. Choose a mantra
Calming your scared inner toddler may not feel like enough. In that case, I find it can also be very helpful to have a mantra to turn to for additional support.
Once you’ve done the steps above, you can repeat your mantra to yourself (aloud or in your head) as you push through the discomfort of doing whatever it is that scares you.
Choose a line that helps you remain focused on your goal or that reframes your fears. Keep it simple enough that you can memorize it and recite it without having to look it up.
Here are a few mantras you can try (or come up with one that’s uniquely yours):
Great things never come from comfort zones
I’m not afraid to be great
I am open to new adventures
Failure is not fatal
I’m meant to be here
I hope these three tips help you quiet your rude inner critic and stop allowing Imposter Syndrome to keep you stuck. Use these tricks over and over again until you feel your self-doubt slowly fade away. You can do it, and soon you’ll be feeling like the Gutsy Boss you were born to be!