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The 4-Step Method to Ending Imposter Syndrome

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

Since the pandemic began in 2020, cases of imposter syndrome have risen dramatically. People reported that working at home away from their colleagues increased the familiar feelings of fear of not doing enough and not keeping up with everyone else.

Being secluded from other people creates a perfect environment for imposter syndrome to flourish. It allows our brains the opportunity to imagine all of the ways we are falling behind or not doing enough to keep up. Even as we have begun to come back together this year, we have held on to these feelings of solitude and aloneness.

During this same time, I have coached countless women on their imposter syndrome. I’ve learned the things that are common to all of these women, and most importantly, I’ve developed a 4-step system to help them overcome their imposter syndrome.

The women who have implemented this system and use it daily have reported less anxiety and fear of judgement and more satisfaction in their lives. Some have used it to go after new opportunities, and some have used it to lessen the burnout they have felt in their current jobs.

I’m excited to share it with you here.

1. Start with self-awareness. More than 70% of people experience Imposter Syndrome. You are not unique in your feelings. Why is this the first point in the system? Imposter Syndrome grows in darkness and solitude. It is critical for you to understand that if you are sitting around a conference table with 10 other people, at least 7 of you have felt the same feelings of shame and fear.

2. Share your experience. This can be the scariest step, but it doesn’t have to be. Start small. Join a safe social media group where you don’t know anyone (like my Embrace Your Imposter Syndrome group on Facebook) and post something about your experience. You will be surprised at the power of sharing the experience.

3. Set goals and a build a scaffold for reaching them. Many women with imposter syndrome are really good at setting goals. In fact, we set goals all the time. The key is building a scaffold for their success. Each time you set a goal, develop a plan for each step you will take to reach the goal. Don’t get distracted by shiny objects. Make your focus this goal and the daily steps you are taking to reach it.

4. Survey your results and celebrate your successes. Our brains look for evidence to prove our thoughts. Women with imposter syndrome often get stuck in the evidence of past encounters with their imposter syndrome rather than focusing on the evidence of our daily successes. Examine your results on a daily basis and focus in on your successes. What did you do well? How did you succeed? What positive impact did you make? If this is the task you focus on, you will find evidence—no matter how small it may seem at first.

If you want to know more about these 4 steps, I’m working on a couple of different ways to share it more widely in the coming months. Email me at sonya@sonyagreencoaching and let me know that you’re interested in learning more about my 4-step method. I will never send spam! If you know someone who might benefit from this method, please share this blog post with them!

Next week, I’ll be back to talk about how Imposter Syndrome leads to burnout. Until then, practice the 4 steps!

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