How to Overcome Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome

We all have stories that we have told ourselves or have been told by others – stories about who we are, what we are like, and what we can do. These stories can limit us and can feel so hard to break free from.

So often we try our hardest to push these things away or end up avoiding situations or people all together because of the discomfort. This works in many other situations in life. If you don’t like a certain type of food, you don’t have to eat it. If you don’t like a certain band, you don’t have to listen to them. But when it comes to thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations, the same strategies don’t work (especially not in the long-term). We can’t just tell ourselves not to feel a certain way or think a certain thing, and the harder we try not to feel or think those things, the more our mind pays attention to them.

It’s a losing battle.

If we put all our efforts into not having anxiety or not feeling like an imposter we can often miss out on so many opportunities that we might really love.

One way to overcome self-doubt and imposter syndrome is to allow ourselves to have these uncomfortable experiences in services of what is actually important to us. What do you think it would be like for you to continue towards what matters to you even in the face of the uncomfortable thoughts like “I don’t know enough” or “I’m not smart enough?”

How do you think your life would look different?

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Here are some questions to ask yourself to overcome self-doubt and imposter syndrome:

  • What have I given up because of trying to manage anxiety and worries?
  • What would I do with my time if I wasn’t spending it trying to decrease fear?
  • Have my options increased or has life narrowed using these strategies?

Try to make room for painful feeling, thoughts, and memories so you can focus on what matters to you. It’s not about experiencing pain for the sake of experiencing it. It’s not about wanting them, conceding to them, or even liking them. It’s simply about letting the thoughts and feelings of self-doubt be there as they are. It’s about being willing to make room for them so you can pursue what matters.

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