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How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

A single Google search will give you a thousand results with the same answer; Imposter syndrome is experiencing feeling like a fraud and doubting your abilities and personal competence. Imposter syndrome seems to be suffered more by the higher achieving and perfectionist groups across the globe. You may not have heard of the term "imposter syndrome" before, but you have likely felt its symptoms at some point in your life. Professionally or personally, you are only human. Common primary symptoms of imposter syndrome: o Fearing your colleagues, friends, or family will discover you are a fraud. o Any compliments, credit, or accolades are through pity rather than being due to actual accomplishments. o Feeling unworthy of your position. o Difficulty accepting any success. The above are common symptoms of imposter syndrome, but there are actually different types of "imposters." Below are the kinds you may find yourself relating to, which could be helpful when we come to find ways to deal with your imposter syndrome. Continue reading, and you will find out precisely what type of "imposter" you are and how you can change to overcome its effects. 1. The Perfectionist Anything that is not seamlessly perfect, with even the smallest of defects, in your world is a failure. 2. The Genius You won’t study or learn because you believe you are a natural genius. Then, upon discovering your shortcomings, you quickly ditch one project and move to the next, again expecting to be a genius without any effort of extensive study or learning. You will experience this scenario repeatedly and constantly compare yourself to professionals, asking, "How am I not there yet?"

3. The Expert You are achieved and have recognition in your field, but all of the honours in the world wouldn't be enough. You need more and more knowledge, believing there’s someone out there doing better than you, so your achievements mean nothing until you’ve learned everything imaginable. You believe there’s always someone better than you, but you feel you need to be the best to feel successful. 4. The Soloist You will do everything by yourself and rarely ask for help or guidance. To you, asking for assistance is a solid failure. You shouldn't need support, and if you do, you’re not good enough to complete tasks by yourself, so you simply deem yourself unworthy. 5. The Superhuman You work multiple tasks at a time, often working far past regular work hours and to the point of exhaustion. If you haven’t worked yourself into a hole, you feel like you haven’t done enough to please those around you and are, therefore, a failure. These types of "imposters" can be negatively affected by this syndrome in many ways. Some adverse effects of it that can occur in daily life include: § Depression/anxiety. § Burnout. § Low self-confidence. § Difficulty accepting or acknowledging success. § Hinder your ability to take risks, possibly harming your personal or career growth. So where to from here? Every one of us has struggles, and we know we can't just sit still and expect them to go away. So, it is best to give ourselves a helping hand and take steps forward to move through this stage in our lives. Remember, even baby steps are still steps in the right direction.

Five Ways to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

1. Exercises

This one is simple and small. Go back to basics. Chin up, shoulders back, sit up straight. You are worthy of your accomplishments. Take three big deep breaths. Today is a new day, and you will do your best. Note, your best is enough. It always has been. 2. Start Tiny Pick one of the two following tasks to complete daily. You can either: A) Plot down a list of goals or realistic plans for your day. Completing this two-minute task can help you gain clarity and ease the stress from your seemingly endless to-do list. B) End each day with a journal entry of three things you are grateful for that day. This can help you slow down, reflect and appreciate the positive aspects that each day contains, especially on the days it seems difficult to see the bright side. 3. The Success File The success file is a running notebook of your wins, small or large. For example, a win could be remembering to have breakfast. Or, for others, it could be washing the dishes before bed and ensuring a clean kitchen space for the morning. The success file helps you recognise and notice your achievements. Maintaining a running record will show you, on paper, that you are succeeding. And each success is worth celebrating. 4. Killer Comparisons Social media has a powerful influence over our lives. We only see the filtered, picture-perfect versions of people's lives, which can damage our mental health. Online we see people with no hiccups or bad days. Although we know that is not an accurate representation of real life, it can be hard to separate the two. Taking a phone detox can be a great way to ground yourself and return to reality. Some people achieve eight hours of sleep for seven nights a week, while others accidentally miss a deadline by a day because they read an email wrong. Disconnecting for however long, an hour, two hours, even a day, any time you can take can do you a world of good and help you separate genuine from fake. 5. Stop Hiding and Learn to Share Believe it or not, at least 70% of people in their lifetime have experienced symptoms of imposter syndrome. You are not alone in your struggle. Sharing can help you unload and appreciate that your feelings are valid and felt by many of your fellow friends, co-workers, and even your own family.

It’s time to let go of perfectionism, your ‘god complex’, and your expectations of completing everything. Allow yourself to make and learn from mistakes. We all go through it, whether we want others to see it or not. But, the heavens won’t fall from the sky, and you will wake up to a new day for plenty more rounds of succeeding and failing again.

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