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Alcohol and Mental Health

8 Tips for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

July 11, 2023
8 min read
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A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 11, 2023
8 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 11, 2023
8 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 11, 2023
8 min read
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Reframe Content Team
July 11, 2023
8 min read

Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough for all of the accomplishments you’ve achieved? Do you worry about others finding out that you’re not all they envision you to be? These emotions can certainly be bothersome and isolating, but we’re far from alone in feeling this way. In fact, there’s a name for this phenomenon in psychology: imposter syndrome.

So, how can we overcome these tendencies and recognize our successes for what they are? Let’s take a look!

What Is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which we doubt our accomplishments and harbor a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud." Despite clear evidence of our competence, those of us experiencing this syndrome remain convinced that we are frauds and do not deserve the success we have achieved. If you're one of the many people who grapple with imposter syndrome, here are eight tips to help you overcome it.

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

The first step in overcoming imposter syndrome is acknowledging its existence. It's okay to feel like an imposter sometimes; it's a common experience shared by many successful people. For instance, even Maya Angelou, a celebrated author and poet, once admitted, "I have written eleven books, but each time I think, 'uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.'" Recognize these feelings when they arise, but don't let them define you. Everyone has moments of self-doubt, but it's how you handle these moments that truly matters.

2. Understand the Causes

Imposter syndrome can stem from various factors, including personality traits, childhood experiences, or societal pressures. Understanding the root cause of your feelings can help you address them more effectively. For instance, if you're a perfectionist like former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, you might set unrealistically high expectations for yourself, leading to feelings of inadequacy when you don't meet them. Sandberg once confessed, "There are still days when I wake up feeling like a fraud."

3. Celebrate Your Achievements

One of the best ways to combat imposter syndrome is by celebrating your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Keep a record of your successes and refer to it whenever you're feeling like an imposter. This can serve as a tangible reminder of your abilities and accomplishments, helping to dispel feelings of fraudulence.

4. Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and experiences failures. Instead of berating yourself for these, use them as learning opportunities. Self-compassion involves treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding you'd show to a friend in a similar situation. Remember, nobody is perfect, and it's okay not to know everything.

5. Seek Encouragement From Trusted Sources

While it's important to cultivate internal self-worth, seeking encouragement to combat imposter syndrome can also be beneficial. Share your feelings with trusted friends, mentors, or a professional counselor. Often, they can provide a more objective perspective on your accomplishments and abilities, helping you to see yourself more realistically.

6. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

In the age of social media, it's easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. However, this can fuel feelings of inadequacy and impostorism. Remember, everyone's journey is unique, and what you see online is often a curated highlight reel, not the whole story. Focus on your own growth and progress instead of comparing yourself to others. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy."

7. Develop a Growth Mindset

Adopting a growth mindset can help you overcome imposter syndrome. This involves viewing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than as threats. With a growth mindset, you understand that intelligence and abilities can be developed over time, and you're less likely to feel like a fraud when you encounter difficulties or setbacks. For instance, Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was cut from his high school basketball team. Instead of letting this setback define him, he used it as motivation to improve, demonstrating a true growth mindset.

8. Seek Professional Help

If imposter syndrome is significantly impacting your life, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Therapists and counselors can provide strategies and tools to help you manage your feelings of impostorism and boost your self-esteem. Many successful people, including actors, athletes, and CEOs, have sought therapy to help them deal with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

Final Thoughts on Imposter Syndrome

Overcoming imposter syndrome is a journey that involves patience with yourself as you unlearn old ways of thinking and adopt new ones. Remember, you are not alone in this struggle, and it's okay to reach out for help! With time and effort, you can overcome imposter syndrome and embrace your truest, most capable self.

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Imposter syndrome is a common phenomenon among people who are struggling in their relationship with alcohol. Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you learn to drink more mindfully. We’ve helped millions of people cut back on drinking gradually, with neuroscience-backed knowledge to empower them 100% of the way. We want to help you join them in learning how to drink less and live more!

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The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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