If you have ever dealt with imposter syndrome, you are not alone. Approximately 70% of people admit to having experienced imposter syndrome, and a twitter pole a few years ago found that 87% people have experienced this. Even some of your favorite performers, influencers and hairstylists have experienced this feeling.
What but is imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is the inability to accept and internalize accomplishments and being afraid of being exposed as a fraud. People who have experienced imposter syndrome are usually plagued by self doubt and believe that they are unqualified for their success, despite the evidence of the contrary.
Hairdressers who are newly licensed, new business + suite owners, new educators, and even those of us making reels to showcase our talent have suffered from bouts of imposter syndrome. Inadequacies, fear of failure and that their success if a matter of luck or timing instead of the hard work that went into it are common feelings.
The truth is, if these feeling go unaddressed..they can prevent us from setting and achieving benchmark goals in our careers.
If you have ever suffered from feeling imposter syndrome, or maybe you're feeling it now, here are a few tools and strategies to overcome these feelings in a healthy + productive way.
1. Don't hide it.
You must first acknowledge that what you are feeling is, in fact, imposter syndrome and that you don't actually suck, you just FEEL like you suck. It's a knows fact that you don't acknowledge something and shine the light on it, it will continue to have power over you. This leads right into the point that you need to separate your FEELINGS from the FACTS.
One thing imposter syndrome can do is diffuse your perceptions of reality.
Taking a step back and looking at the "big picture" objectively can help determine, appreciate and acknowledge the facts that have led to the success you are experiencing.
2. S.T.O.P it.
In Melinda Fouts, Ph.D's book- Cognitive Enlightenment- she outlines the STOP technique to overcome imposter syndrome.
STOP is an acronym for Silence The Oppressive Player. “You need to eradicate this tape that is playing 24/7, whether you are conscious of it or not. It plays loudest when we are tired, hungry, or feeling defeated.”
Here's how you implement the STOP technique when the thought "I'm not good enough" comes up.
First, you need a launch sentence: "I'm more than good enough".
Second, you write this sentence on multiple pieces of paper and plant them all around you as a reminder.
When the "I'm not good enough" thought comes up, and your brain spirals into justifying why you're not good enough, it's challenging to remember the launch statement so seeing it around will help you when your brain has spiraled. Until you remember what your launch sentence is, you repeatedly stay "STOP", once you know or remember your launch statement, you can replace STOP with "I'm more than good enough"
Also, seeing the statement all around you will help reinforce and practice replacing the negative belief system with the truth. Over time, your mind will start spiraling in the direction of "I'm more than good enough" and will give you evidence to support that.
Seems simple enough, yet when our minds go unhinged, we need simple, easy to remember solutions to pull us out.
3. Keep a "Win List"
Any time you have a WIN, an accomplishment, a highlight moment in your career or personal life, jot it down on your WIN list. There is no win too big or too small. A win is a win. Period. While it may be awkward to keep a list of all of your wins and accomplishments, revisiting this list from time to time especially when the imposter syndromes are RAGING will definitely help diminish your imposter syndrome. This is in line with my first point in separating feelings and facts. Feeling are what your brain is telling you when it's spiraling out of control and validating why you suck, your Win List is factual proof that you do not suck, in fact, you're great!
4. Assemble your PEOPLE.
The importance of having the right people around you is undoubtedly crucial, especially if you have big goals and big dreams and are plagued by imposter syndrome. It's so important to have a diverse group of people to bounce ideas off of, to hold you responsible to your goals, and to call you out..on your wins and your bullshit. These are YOUR people and with these people you share experiences, fears, creative ideas, aspirations, goals, set backs, comebacks etc...
Celebrate each others accomplishments and call out each others bullshit. Just make sure your people are YOUR people and have your best interest at heart.
5. GTFOOYH + JFDI
You may have heard me reference JFDI in the past, it's an acronym-
Just Fucking Do It!
It's an acronym I use in my life on a regular basis...Alarm goes off...JFDI and get up. Time to work out? JFDI. Create a reel...JFDI. It's quite handy, you should try it.
Here's something I have never shared up until this point...JFDI is only PART of the acronym.
The other important, BEGINNING part of the acronym is..
GTFOOYH + JFDI
Get The Fuck Out Of Your Head + Just Fucking Do It.
Most, if not ALL of the time, we are SOOO in our heads. Feelings if imposter syndrome, unworthiness, inabilities, programs, belief systems etc...these RUN our "SOS's- Standard Operating Systems"...but the thing is...they live in our HEADS. In the Conscious mind.
When you have big goals and big dreams...your conscious mind will NOT help you, it's your subconscious that will help change the stories and make those big goals a reality.
So when the "stories" come up for you and the imposter syndrome is unhinged and spiraling... for example, you want to make a reel and your mind sounds something like
"Who do I think I am to say XYZ"
"I'm going to get made fun of for this"
"So and So will probably judge me"
"I can't do this"
"My work isn't good enough"
"the cut isn't good enough"
etc etc etc...
I promise you, I PROMISE you, Don't think, just DO. It will be so rewarding...and when you do, jot that down on your WIN list.
Feelings of imposter syndrome are very real, but the majority of the time, those feelings are there from MADE UP stories in your mind. Use these tools and tips to help combat the imposter syndrome. Over time, you'll find that it will diminish and eventually fade away.
You are good enough + you can do this!
Cheers to your success!