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Imposter Syndrome… What Is It And How To Overcome It

Written by: Maryann Rivera-Dannert, MSL, CLC, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you ever been congratulated for your hard work and immediately the voices in your head activate and you start to second guess yourself? You start to wonder:

What if they knew about my past?

  • I’ve been sexually abused

  • My parents were divorced

  • I grew up in a single-parent home

  • I’ve been in jail/prison

  • I grew up in poverty

  • Etc.

What I’ve been through?

  • I’ve been homeless

  • I’ve experienced domestic violence

  • I’ve been bankrupted

  • I didn’t go to college

  • I didn’t graduate from high school

  • I was abandoned/neglected

This is the part of you who has not fully integrated with your truest version of yourself, as you are still living life wearing a mask and being held captive by your past.

Imposter syndrome happens when there’s a conflict between our beliefs and reality. And sometimes, those beliefs tend to not be yours, causing the discomfort. An inner struggle starts or deepens. For individuals that have experienced some form of adversity in life, the imposter syndrome is all too familiar. You had individuals tell you you’re not good enough, you are damaged goods, you’ll amount to nothing in life. These stories could even come from you.

Do you shy away from recognition? Does the thought of having the spotlight shine on you make you sweat and your hands become clammy? As you’re reading this, is your heart rate increasing and your body is tightening up as this all sounds too real?

I want to share five tips that hopefully will help you break free so you can start enjoying life to the fullest.

Let’s dive in…

1. Recognize the feelings

The first step to healing and improving our well-being is to acknowledge and recognize the feelings we feel. If we continue to ignore them, nothing will change. You will continue to fake it through life, living broken, unfulfilled, and shying away from the real you. You’ll continue to dimmish your accomplishments and as you continuously chase and stay empty.

2. Talk about it

Just as it's important to recognize your feelings, it is equally important to talk about those feelings. Talk about where they are stemming from, how do they make you feel. If you don’t talk about and just hold everything in, you’ll become frustrated, resentful, angry, and possibly even depressed. Just because you “ignore” something, it does not make it go away. Eventually, the feelings will overcome you and most likely in an inopportune time.

3. Reframe your thoughts

As you recognize your feelings and talk about them, its time to reframe your thought pattern. You’re able to now differentiate between what’s real and what’s not. You can tell which thoughts are yours and which thoughts and beliefs have been passed down to you – spoken over you. What does not align with the true version of you, say out loud what IS real and true. If you’ve come to believe that you are not good enough, that is a lie. So, repeat out loud and several times: I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. Keep repeating what is true until it seeps into your subconscious, and you naturally start behaving in that fashion.

4. Collect positive experiences

Whenever someone compliments you, write it down on a post-it note. Write down exactly what they say, the date, time, and who the person was. If you receive an email or text message, save all these experiences in a folder labeled: Positive Experiences. Whenever the inner critic starts to talk or whenever the imposter syndrome sets in, open your Positive Experiences folder, and remind yourself of your worth, how amazing you are, all the wonderful things you have accomplished. The more you surround yourself around positivity, the more you will start and continue to believe what is true about you.

5. Consider professional help

The fact may be that no matter how hard you recognize your feelings, talk about how you’re feeling, reframe your thought pattern or collect positive experiences, you may still have the feelings of being unworthy and not being good enough. If that is the case, consider getting professional help. Know that seeking professional help is a sign of strength. You realize that something is off you cannot do it on your own. It’s important that you know there is a difference between a coach and a professional therapist. A good coach will know when you require assistance beyond their scope of expertise and should refer you to a mental health professional.

When you entered this world, many years ago, you were free of judgement, expectations, hurt, trauma, and labels. As we walk along our journey, we face obstacles and if we don’t deal with these issues, they will continue to show their ugly faces and cause you to doubt yourself. Doubt turns to shame and shame will keep you stuck. You were created for greatness! You were created to live a full and fulfilled life. It’s time to take your power back and start living life as you were meant to: A life where you are free, fearless, and fabulous.

If you have enjoyed this article, I invite you to act and continue the journey in becoming fearless. I have some limited spaces for 1:1 coaching and group coaching. I’d love to welcome you in and be a part of the Fearless Community. Let’s connect here.

If this article made you pause and think and you would like more content like this, let’s connect via Instagram, Facebook, Website, LinkedIn. If you are ready to silence your insecurities, build healthy boundaries and live your best life, book a complimentary discovery call with me.

Remember, you are Fearless and Fabulous, you are a priority, and you matter!


Maryann Rivera-Dannert, MSL, CLC, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Affectionately referred to as the Fearless Living Coach, Maryann Rivera-Dannert is the FEAR-less dealer every woman needs in her corner.

The Fearless Living Coach learned early on how to be what she would later become. Striving to be better than what life handed her, the conquering spirit within arose and gave her the courage and realization she needed to recognize her unique value as a woman. With a background filled with adversity, instability, and dysfunction, Maryann had much stacked against her. Yet, she didn’t allow what happened in her formative years stop her from becoming who she is today.

Maryann is a certified life coach who holds an MS in Leadership and a BS in Organizational Management. She is a 5x published author and 3x best-selling author. She has been featured in various publications and Maryann is also the host and creator of the Fearless Fridays with Maryann podcast which seeks to empower and transform women to living their best life, today.



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