Image: Uday Mittal via Unsplash

Here’s How to Better Understand and Combat Imposter Syndrome

Not everything is as it appears.

Just because we think something, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true. I thought that I wouldn’t graduate with my master’s. I thought that I wasn’t good enough to land a career in my field after graduation. So many, ‘I thought,’ yet here I am, typing out the introduction to this pitch. Imposter Syndrome is the one thought that we should ignore 100 percent of the time. A surprisingly large number of highly accomplished people walk around feeling like they are an imposter, and it really wears them down. What’s important to recognize, however, is that this isn’t actually the truth. What is the truth is that the Imposter Syndrome is simply a thought process that the mind grabs onto, a very subjective one at that, and it is one that you can decide not to believe.

We interviewed Dr. Gail Gazelle MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Master Certified Coach for physicians lists 3 points shedding light on why Imposter Syndrome is truly all in your mind. Keep reading for more!

Image: Christopher Ott via Unsplash

Here’s How to Better Understand and Combat Imposter Syndrome

1) Not everything is as it appears

While the mind is very good at producing the thought that we are an imposter, we don’t have to believe everything our mind tells us. Many of our thoughts are not actually facts! This is definitely true about imposter beliefs which are often a fiction the mind has created, not fact at all. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and don’t listen when your mind tries to tell you you’re not good enough – you definitely are.

2) Neuroscience shows thoughts are transient

Modern neuroscience research makes it clear that thoughts are simply transient mental events, not fact. The human mind produces between 10,000 – 20,000 thoughts every single day. Some are true but many are not. And every thought we’ve ever had fades away, just like the clouds in the sky. When we remember this, we can hold our thoughts much more lightly and not take them as seriously. Thoughts are a passing phenomenon, and we can learn how to relate to them in a healthy way that does not inhibit our success.

3) Mindfulness is key in resolving Imposter Syndrome

Mindfulness is about awareness of what our minds are up to. With mindfulness, we get to know our thought patterns and we realize that we have a choice in how we relate to them. We have the choice whether we spend a lot of time focusing on an imposter belief and almost cementing it in our minds. Alternatively, we have the choice to put aside these unhelpful thoughts and focus instead on all the ways we are truly capable.

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