Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

What Is Imposter Syndrome?

What Causes It?

Addressing Imposter Syndrome

  • Give it recognition. The first step with any fear-based feeling is to recognize when it emerges instead of trying to shove it aside. Recognizing that it exists takes away some of its perceived power.
  • Seek the truth. As with most fear-based feelings, something appears to be real when it is not. For example, you might receive a large project or promotion. You immediately feel unqualified to achieve the goal. The reality is, the individual who asked you to take on the project or who promoted you believes otherwise — most likely because you have a track record of success, leadership, and necessary qualities/experience. Take time to acknowledge that.
  • Accept the possibility of mistakes. Success is never a smooth or straight road, right? The same is true here. Mistakes are opportunities for learning and for developing best practices. Accept that mistakes will likely occur, but they are not fatal to the goal.
  • Log accomplishments. Journaling is an incredibly effective strategy to help you showcase your successes and achievements. As we go about managing our day to day tasks, the little wins can slip by unnoticed or, at the very least, unappreciated. Perform a weekly reflection and list the wins you had. Re-read these entries periodically.
  • Talk about it. It might appear that every other one of your colleagues “has it all together.” I assure you, this not the reality. Talk about how you’re feeling with those you trust or with a mentor.
  • Reframe your script. We all have automatic thoughts that traipse through our minds. When imposter feelings sneak in, stop them and reframe the thought. Eventually, you will reframe the way you think and approach new challenges.

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Passionate college educator, writer, and health and fitness professional. I am an NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist, ACE Health Coach, & Pn1.

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Erin Dollison Nitschke

Erin Dollison Nitschke

Passionate college educator, writer, and health and fitness professional. I am an NFPT-CPT, NSCA-CPT, ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist, ACE Health Coach, & Pn1.

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