How to Combat Imposter Phenomenon
Last updated February 8, 2024
If you've accomplished something big but still find yourself doubting your abilities, it's important to know that this is a totally normal feeling! When you experience imposter phenomenon (also known as imposter syndrome), you doubt yourself, your capabilities as a student or employee, or maybe even your self-worth.
These feelings are especially common amongst first-generation college students, gender minorities, and youth of color, who work or study in predominantly White spaces, and who face additional systemic challenges such as bias and exclusion in their journeys. As disheartening as these feelings are, they are common, and there are tools to combat them and remind yourself that you deserve everything you have and that your presence in every space matters. Here are a few of our tips to combat imposter phenomenon and gain some self-confidence!
Ask for help
Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. Reach out to your bosses, coworkers, or professors when you need a helping hand or reassurance. Not only will their guidance give you more confidence in school and work, but it will highlight your dedication and value to what you do.
Build your self-confidence
This is easier said than done, and will take practice over time. The more confident you are in yourself and your capabilities, the easier it is to feel valued in your work and studies. Learn more about building self-confidence here!
Take time for yourself to reflect
Imposter phenomenon can weigh heavily on your mind and body, and it’s important to remember to take time for yourself to reflect on your experiences and feelings. This practice isn’t easy, but can give you more clarity in understanding the root of these feelings. We recommend taking this time to try bullet journaling, meditating, or seeking free mental health resources available to you.
Join a community for extra support
Imposter phenomenon cannot only be addressed or fixed at the individual level. We all must work in community to create a culture that addresses systemic biases and challenges that leave us feeling “othered” or unworthy of taking up space. Only by doing so can we reduce experiences that lead to us feeling like imposters.
Sites like Reddit and Facebook have great communities you can join for free to learn more about imposter phenomenon and others’ experiences with moving beyond it. Linkedin is also a great place to get advice and support from experienced professionals in the workforce.