A 5-Step Approach to Managing Imposter Syndrome

A 5-Step Approach to Managing Imposter Syndrome: You are being held back by imposter syndrome. Here’s how to overcome barriers.

Imposter syndrome is a crippling pattern of thought that impairs one’s ability to work optimally. Not only does it erode confidence, but it also fosters a desire to justify oneself by meeting impossible standards – criteria that you, the person with imposter syndrome, construct for yourself. Imposter syndrome impairs creativity in this process because the individual views taking chances or attempting novel ideas as threats to his or her image of being the best. Imposter syndrome, at best, adds stress and strain. At worst, it contributes to the development of a state of dysfunctional anxiety.

Approach to Managing Imposter Syndrome

Therefore, how can you develop self-control over imposter syndrome?

The majority of individuals believe imposter syndrome is an emotion. That is not the case. Imposter syndrome is characterized by a sequence of illogical and unreasonable beliefs. The beauty of this reality is that you may develop tactics for controlling your thinking, so reducing or eliminating imposter syndrome. Here are five strategies to assist you in thinking, feeling, and functioning optimally.

1. Substitute facts for irrational thoughts

Our brains will concentrate on whatever we tell them to concentrate on. When we have impostor syndrome, our brains operate on an illogical belief system and will seek out any evidence that supports the imposter syndrome. To overcome dysfunctional thought patterns, we must replace them with facts, logic, and evidence. Resumes, professional assessments, and actual accomplishments all provide evidence of reality that can be used to dispel the impostor syndrome-inducing ideas.

2. Capitalize on established techniques and assets

Individuals suffering with imposter syndrome frequently believe that they must invent new methods of accomplishing activities in order to be successful. They spend their time obsessing over how to do things better or in novel ways in order to differentiate themselves.


The reality is that the wheel does not need to be reinvented. Employing successful abilities, habits, and procedures from previous situations might result in success in current and future situations. Why not leverage validated success tactics rather than developing novel ones with no evidence of efficacy?

3. Consult a qualified professional

Numerous publications I’ve read concerning imposter syndrome advise readers to talk to someone about their feelings. Frequently, articles recommend speaking with your supervisor, a colleague, or a friend, but this advice is incorrect. These folks may be beneficial when venting, but they are not trained in techniques for reducing or eliminating impostor syndrome, and they are not bound by confidentiality requirements. By seeking out an executive coach who is trained in certain areas of brain or behavior functioning, you may be assured of receiving expert guidance in a secure atmosphere.

4. Abandon perfectionism

Imposter syndrome is fueled by perfectionism. The concept of perfection or performing tasks perfectly generates some of the illogical and unattainable standards that contribute to imposter syndrome and eventually undercut aspirations. Certain perfectionists devote so much work and time to performing tasks flawlessly that they never complete the task at hand.

Read also: How to Control Your Brain for Optimal Functioning

Performing tasks competently, utilizing your abilities, and completing them within the allotted time can serve as a focus and a strategy to alleviate imposter feeling.

5. Create a vision for your success.

Not only is writing out your goals a strategy for achieving them, but it also determines your goal’s measurement. It establishes the limit that keeps your concentration on the task at hand and not on something bigger or better. By documenting your aim, it also serves as a tool for determining your success based on the stated objective, rather than something more ideal. When your outcome is compared to the written goal, it serves as a litmus test for success and helps keep your mind from spinning in the direction of imposter syndrome.


Imposter syndrome is a regular phenomenon for many ambitious and successful people. Recognizing the indicators and being aware of your ability to regulate it enables you to avoid it impeding your progress. By implementing certain tactics and refusing to adopt the erroneous belief system as a habit or standard, you can achieve peak performance in both your personal and professional lives.

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