The one tip that rules them all when defeating the imposter syndrome–and frees you up to be the best you!

by Molly Miller, freelance writer, Albany, Oregon

When I face the superior stressor, the imposter syndrome, I need all my top strategies to keep it from strangling me:  Ask my friends for perspective. Rewrite the “failure” or “imposter” script. Write self-affirming quotes to paste on my mirror and say them aloud.

But sometimes my wits and poise are needed, like right now! There isn’t always time to use more than one tip to keep confident and show my colors.  That time of challenge requires a holistic strength and intention, a clear focus, that is, one tip to guide my actions wisely.

The one tip is:  Act as if.

“Act as if” I do know what I’m doing. This is what I tell myself and then this is what I do:  I know when to listen and when to ask questions. I know when to assert my ideas and knowledge when I see a path that others have missed. I treat myself and others with respect and courtesy. Establishing this win/win is the antithesis, a death knell, for the imposter syndrome.

I also physically “act as if.” I keep my head high. I keep my posture erect, yet concentrate on keeping my muscles relaxed. I keep my eyes clear and alert.

And in a delightful role reversal, the negative self-talk can be my ally. Instead of quieting the negative voice inside, I listen, and oftentimes do the opposite. I turn the negative advice inside out and then act the idea out in a positive way. For example, instead of hiding in the back of a room, I go to the front of the table, like I belong there. Instead of keeping my ideas to myself, I share them.

Inside my head, my imposter syndrome screams “you can be seen and heard up front.”  Internally, I just reply, “I know.”