Do you have feelings or worries that your co-workers or friends will think you’re a fraud? Do you often feel like you don’t belong? These are feelings of impostor syndrome and an estimated 70% of successful people experience this in their lives.

Impostor syndrome can cause you to feel that you only accomplished your goals due to luck. Maybe you think you aren’t as good as your boss thinks you are and you worry that you’ll be found out.

Research shows us that both men and women battle impostor syndrome and are unable to acknowledge and own their successes.

Five Patterns of Impostor Syndrome

According to the impostor expert Valerie Young and author of “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women”, there are five patterns that can be found in those who suffer from this phenomenon.

  1. You set unrealistic goals for yourself and are often considered a perfectionist.
  2. You are afraid to speak up or answer questions due to fear of not knowing the answer.
  3. You are afraid to ask for help because you think you’ll look like a failure to others.
  4. You feel like a fraud if the answer doesn’t come naturally.
  5. You push yourself hard than your peers in order to prove yourself.

Individuals that live with impostor syndrome think that things happen to them due to luck rather than their own hard work or abilities. This then leads to a cycle of negative thinking that can hold them back from moving up the corporate ladder. They may even end up working harder than necessary, which could lead to increased feelings of failure or burnout.

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life

If you are living with impostor syndrome you may struggle with accepting your own success. Perhaps you feel that you don’t deserve your corporate position or an award of accomplishment. If you can relate to this, then there are some suggestions on how you can fix your inner impostor.

  1. Change your mindset to accept your shortcomings instead of seeking a perfect outcome with every project or goal.
  2. Embrace your imperfections and learn to accept yourself the way you are. Remind yourself that you did your best.
  3. Keep a list of realistic goals. If you have a list of goals already then look through them with honesty.
  4. Believe the effort you’ve put forth regardless of the outcome. You may have worked hard towards a goal just to fall short of the desired outcome. This is an opportunity to accept the outcome and still be proud of the work you put into it.
  5. Create a focused goal instead of trying to divide your attention energy between unrelated topics. Be okay with having someone else work on a particular area of a task so you are free to focus on what you enjoy.

Impostor syndrome can cause the strongest and most successful individuals to feel like they are not good enough. This syndrome has a negative effect on all areas of your life. So take time to assess where you are and what you can do to move forward in your life.

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