How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”…. but sometimes when, “Faking it”, your own identity can get a little confusing or you feel like an imposter, hence the term imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments.” (Harvard Business School)

As I have talked about before, I am a big fan of personality tests. One of my favorite personality test is the Enneagram. I am an Enneagram- 3 aka the Achiever. Being an Achiever has its positives, but also can cause a few challenges when it comes to reaching accomplishments and how I feel towards the accomplishment. I believe part of the reason I struggle with imposter syndrome at times is because of my personality type.

Imposter syndrome is linked to achievements, so for an achiever, (like myself) this can be a tough thing to sort through mentally. I remember back to when I won Miss Colorado USA, I had always believed I was going to win and manifested it for years…… Then I won – awesome, right? Wrong. After winning and throughout my reign as Miss Colorado USA, I was always battling with a lot mentally….. I wondered if people thought I was worthy of the title, or pretty enough, or if I really was a “pageant girl”. Looking back, I realize I was putting myself in a box without even noticing.

I think some part of me thought that winning a pageant title that I had worked so hard for would make me feel different or suddenly change my life…. Guess what? Wrong again. The process and journey for me to reach the achievement was really what mattered, but I wasn’t always fully able to grasp that in the moment. The achievement really wasn’t the end, just part of the process, but once recognized for the achievement, I began to struggle with imposter syndrome.

Another time, I remember really struggling with imposter syndrome was when I first started becoming financially stable in my career. I had struggled for so long, and believed I was meant for more in my career…. but then I started getting what I wanted and doubted if I truly deserved it. It’s a real mind-fuck to put it bluntly. I remember constantly having to reassure myself that I do deserve success, and I do deserve the life I am creating.

I don’t know if I would’ve been able to fully articulate exactly what I was feeling until I read about imposter syndrome. With the concept of “Fake it ‘til you make it.” or “be who you want to be” being used so frequently in my everyday life as a way to improve myself and reach higher achievements, it is still difficult to navigate imposter syndrome at some times.

Below are a few tips for dealing with Imposter Syndrome.

  1. Take a social media detox- Social media is an incredible tool when used correctly, but it can also contribute to imposter syndrome. You can feel this by consuming social media or posting on social media at an excessive rate. Taking a break from social media can give you time to ground yourself back in your beliefs and your truth.

  2. Talk to someone- You guys know I love therapy, but it also isn’t for everyone, so find someone to talk to. Even just voicing how you feel out loud to someone can make all the difference in the world. You should voice this to someone who loves you, not someone who is going to judge you.

  3. Affirmations– I am the biggest fan of affirmations. A key action I took to help with my own imposter syndrome, is writing “I am deserving”. I write this almost everyday in my journal to help combat my imposter syndrome that I still struggle with.

  4. Remember the journey is more than the accomplishment Like I was saying earlier about when I won Miss Colorado, I felt like that accomplishment should have made me feel different, but really it was the process of getting there that mattered most. Now when I hit an accomplishment, I remind myself of the entire process to the accomplishment and what it took to get there.

  5. Stop putting yourself in a box – I never really thought I was the person putting myself in a “box” until I took time to reflect. I realized that me not thinking of myself as a “pageant girl” was part of the problem. Sure, I may have not fully fit exactly what I thought a pageant girl was, but that didn’t mean I was or wasn’t a “pageant girl”. I was the one who put myself in a box which led to part of my imposter syndrome.

I still struggle with imposter syndrome at times, sometimes even in the weirdest situations (like happy relationships), and I try to come back to the tips I listed above. I hope if you struggle with imposter syndrome, that you found these tips helpful.

As always, thank you for reading! I’d love to hear from you.





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Madison Dorenkamp

Entrepreneur, podcaster, and blogger

Welcome to the Striving for Balance Blog! I created this blog for every girl who is striving to be her best while balancing her busy life.

Madison Dorenkamp

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