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imposter syndrome

How to Leverage Imposter Syndrome for Growth


Sasha Lewis

October 23, 2023

When imposter syndrome arises, not if, it can rattle your self-confidence, self-worth and passion for what you do. That self-deprecating voice starts to feed you lies and and preys on your insecurities instigating feelings of incapability. What if I told you you can leverage imposter syndrome for your advantage.

As a high-achieving entrepreneur, imposter syndrome is more likely to affect you. You are also more likely to achieve success, sypitally through being strategic, success driven, self aware, devoted, and analytical. While these factors all create this recipe for accomplishments, the analytical element drives this psychological circumstance forward. 

Being an analytical entrepreneur is an amazing quality, but it comes with being a perfectionist. That need for perfectionism is a blessing and a curse that will feed into imposter syndrome. 

As a perfectionist, you zone in on flaws. Instead of looking at the 99.9% that was successful, you harp on the 0.1% and ultimately see failure. Everything is black and white and the 0.1% becomes an internal dialogue of lack of competency and lack of worth.

Sounds almost impossible to utilize imposter syndrome for personal development but it’s possible! And it will save you a lot of time spiraling into the abyss of inadequacy and negativity. 

Identify the Imposter Syndrome Triggers Immediately

A large part of overcoming imposter syndrome is reframing and rewiring your mind. In order to do this, you need to identify the trigger the moment it happens. Maybe you got a critique or missed a mistake, regardless, locating the trigger helps you understand the feelings after. 

When you identify the trigger, you slow down your thoughts to give yourself time to understand if your thought is valid and justified or if there is a deep seated insecurity that hasn’t been addressed and worked through. 

Keep a notebook of your triggers and start to find the patterns. This will help you reframe your thought process to avoid these feelings. 

Become More Aware

If you are a high-achiever, you likely are very self-aware of your shortcomings and capabilities, or lack-there-of. Instead of focusing on the negatives, we need to focus on the positives. 

After you have identified your triggers, you need touncover the insecurity and how the negative self-talk is a lie. It’s a self-defense mechanism. 

So, instead of just acknowledging the trigger and moving through it, rewire your brain immediately through making a list of your accomplishments, successes, and your skills and talents. 

For instance, you get a critique on your work. Instead of acknowledging the critique as what it is, an opportunity for better communication, you take it personally and let it dictate your ability to perform. 

In order to use this as a moment to rewire the brain, we need to locate the trigger: the critique felt personal instead of subjective. 

Now, since it felt personal, we can outline it as: there was a lack of communication to allow for the project to be delivered as desired. As a capable entrepreneur, you can make the correction to please the client and make an adjustment to require more communication up front. 

Seems more justified than immediately spiraling into lack of ability, lack of skill, and lack of talent, right? 

Operate as an Imposter Syndrome Detective

Turn imposter syndrome into a game. You are feeling some type of way, start to find the solution instead of immediately shutting down. 

If you are feeling like you are unable to meet a clients’ desires, what can you outsource to complete the project and move on?

Feeling like you don’t have enough knowledge to pitch, who can you reach out to to add value?

If you are feeling like you can’t grow your business because it is requiring you to work outside your zone of genius, who or what can you invest in to get the education you need? 

The insecurities that arise when imposter syndrome surfaces are merely little lights highlighting areas that need some tender loving care. It is not indicative of your ability to be successful, nor is it indicative of your worthiness of that success. It is merely an opportunity for growth. 

Become obsessed with finding the clues to what areas your psyche is wanting to develop further and learn to love being a student again.

Create a Daily Routine for Gratitude

Adding more structure with mindfulness and gratitude at the root of your routine will give you less time to dwell on the negativity that arises within. 

The goal in life is to become unshakable. To be so committed to self, that we no longer seek validation, acceptance or worth from outside opinion. 

To do this, creating a daily routine that includes meditation, journaling about small wins, things you are grateful for and also setting smart goals will allow you to stay in a winning mindset. You will be so focused on what is going right and the areas in which you have hit your accomplishments, that you won’t have time or room to then dive into the part of your psyche trying to keep you shielded from the outside world. 

Take time out each day, or even multiple times if needed, to write down what you are grateful for, what you are proud of, and what you have accomplished for the day. This will keep your mind looking for wins instead of losses. 

Like anything in life, imposter syndrome is just another facet of self-improvement and self-growth. It is an opportunity to become soft and to relinquish control. It is an opportunity to calm your nervous system to no longer operate in fight or flight mode. 

By focusing on your mindset you ultimately focus on your legacy and that is where your intentions should be. 

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