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Impostor Syndrome: The Simple Reason We Experience It

Reading Time: 4 minutes

As social creatures, human beings have a powerful need to belong. But could this need to belong explain why we experience Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor Syndrome can be described as when a man or woman doubts their accomplishments and view themselves as a fraud.

The reason we experience it is simple. Our brains tend to focus on things that can hurt us and threaten our wellbeing. In ancient times this instinct protected us from predators, poisonous plants and other dangers. In modern times, however, this instinct tries to protect us from a different threat.

The threat of shame.
Being an impostor isn't as terrifying as the shame we think we will experience if we are discovered as one. Click To Tweet

After all, exposure can mean losing our status, our job, and our self-esteem. All of which can serve as agonizing triggers for shame.

Like it or not our coworkers, the members of our church, our friends and family serve as modern-day tribes. As social creatures, being cast out or shamed by any of these social groups can leave deep wounds on our psyche.

In modern times, shame is much more of a realistic threat to us than being hunted by predators in the wild.

Which is why there isn’t a cure or solution for Imposter Syndrome. In a way, the symptoms Impostor Syndrome are just our natural and rational fears taken to irrational heights.

There is however hope for those experiencing Impostor syndrome.

People tend to experience Impostor Syndrome less often as they grow older.

Why? Because with age comes evidence.

The easiest way to overcome Impostor Syndrome is to provide yourself with evidence of what you have already accomplished and how you have already grown #mentalhealth. Click To Tweet

Evidence includes awards, track records, certifications or simply the knowledge that you have experienced this before.

That’s it. If you want to keep yourself immune to the stress of dealing with Impostor Syndrome–document and celebrate your achievements.

These Are Some Ways You Can Document Your Achievements And Overcome Imposter Syndrome
  • Find Your Tribe- The right group of friends and family will make you more confident and less afraid of risks. Your tribe can also be a great source of feedback and support.
  • Keep A Bullet Journal- There is nothing quite like having a bulleted list of achievements to remind you of what you are capable of.
  • Throw A Party– There are no rules for when to throw a party. If an achievement is important to you then gather some friends and celebrate it.
  • Keep A Pinboard Of Achievements- I honestly believe Pinterest can be used as a pretty effective goal visualization and personal development tool. So go ahead, create a board about your achievements. Make it private if doing so seems vain.
  • Share On Social Media- Platforms like Twitter and Instagram stories are pretty damn useful tools for highlighting successes.
  • Teach Someone Else to Do it- Few things reinforce your success and mastery like teaching someone else to do it. This is the best method in my opinion.
  • Practice Keeping A Growth Mindset– We tend to experience Impostor syndrome more when we treat skills and abilities as finite or fixed. By keeping in mind that your skills and abilities can grow with practice is a surefire way to get over Imposter Syndrome.

Good memories are natural affirmations. So take pictures, tell your friends and family, and overall celebrate the occasion.

You never know when a memory like that can come in handy.

If you’d like to know more about Impostor Syndrome this article provides a detailed breakdown.

And I just plain liked this one.

9 thoughts on “Impostor Syndrome: The Simple Reason We Experience It

  1. Hi! Thanks for sharing my blog post! I really enjoyed your take on Imposter Syndrome. I love the pin board of achievements idea! I also agree that finding your tribe is a great help! Great post!

    1. You’re very welcome. I thought your post was a very good resource. Yeah I can’t emphasize how important it is find the right tribe for you. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I didn’t even know this syndrome existed. But it does make a lot of sense tbh. A bulleted journal is actually the only thing that keeps me going. If I don’t make a to do list in the morning, I end up doing nothing. And the tip for finding your tribe couldn’t be more true. As you are the result of the friends you have. If you have 5 loser friends, you soon will become the 6th loser, and vice versa. nice post!

    1. “If you have 5 loser friends, you soon will become the 6th loser”. This made me laugh 🙂 I’m really glad you liked it. Hopefully it will be useful to you in the future.

  3. This is a great post but I especially like the tips. Simple and practical. It’s crazy how so many of us deal with this issue. I hear mostly entrepreneurs talk about this but it’s also so real in the corporate world.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Just @sensibledove

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