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Impostor Syndrome And The Harm Of Fake it Till You Make It And 8 Tips That Help You Be Authentic

Written by: Victor Mosconi, 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.


Fake it till you make it has been a pervasive phrase and mindset for years. The idea that you just have to fake like you know it all, that you fake you can do the job, that you fake you already have it all, that you fake you fit in with where ever you are.

However, this mindset of fake it till you make it is unhealthy! Especially when experiencing impostor syndrome.

This is a toxic mindset to have. Because when you’re experiencing impostor syndrome, you have a daily mindset that believes you are already faking it.

You’re a fake!

The impostor syndrome mindset already makes you feel you have to be a fake.

You don’t feel as if you can be yourself.

You don’t feel you’ll be accepted for who you are.

You don’t think you’re as good as anyone else.

You constantly hide your true self.

You’re constantly comparing yourself to everyone else and trying to be like them.

You think you aren’t worthy of achieving good or success.

You’re afraid you’ll be seen as a fraud.

Those are just some of the thoughts and feelings you have when experiencing impostor syndrome. And it’s all about being a fake, a fraud, hiding your true self, not being accepted as yourself, and not being good enough for who you are.

Your impostor thoughts prevent you from believing in yourself and appreciating your own accomplishments. You look to outside people and sources for approval and acceptance.

But because you don’t feel you’re good enough as you are, you put up this mask and another personality to be accepted by everyone else. You are in a constant state of hiding who you are.

You don’t even believe your own accomplishments were due to your own effort. It was due to someone else, or a mistake, and you fooled them into seeing your worth.

That’s another part as well, you feel you fooled others into believing you’re good enough and capable, yet don’t believe it yourself.

Again, it’s about faking it. When experiencing impostor syndrome, you’re pretending to be someone you’re not. You’re faking it for the benefit of everyone else.

So, when do you stop? When can you finally be yourself? And for that matter, when have you made it?

You never make it!

No matter what new job, a new position, or new opportunity you achieve, when experiencing impostor syndrome at a high level, you never feel like you’ve made it. You think there will be one achievement you need to be accepted and be seen as good enough. But once you have achieved it, you don’t feel like it’s enough, you don’t feel like you’ve made it.

Once you’ve “made it”, you question that achievement. You don’t truly feel you earned it, and determine that you haven’t really made it yet because you feel and think that others are still better and worthier than you.

The impostor syndrome mindset twists your own perception, so to be considered good enough, you have to go for the next achievement or level, and then the next one after that, and the next one after that, never actually knowing if you’ve made it. Because you never fully accept and appreciate your achievement.

All those years of feeling like a fake for who you are and working to achieve what you thought would make you feel good enough, and you never actually feel like you made it. Never feel good about yourself or what you achieved. Because you never feel you are truly you, that you yourself achieved those successes, and you don’t see those accomplishments as really being the level of making it.

Because you are basing your worth on others’ expectations for your life. You never actually feel like you’ve made it as everyone says you will.

Once again, fake it till you make it, hasn’t brought you any acceptance, appreciation, or feelings of worth.

How can this saying be of value to you?

It can’t. It won’t.

What you need to do, is break free of the expectations and desires of others, and look inward to your own desires and goals. You need to shift from seeking approval from external sources and become approving and appreciative of yourself. You need to believe in YOU.

8 Tips to be Authentically You.

To break free of this impostor syndrome mindset and this toxic entrapment of having to fake being you until you achieve other people’s level of success apply these 8 strategies:

  1. Stop relying on what others expect of you

  2. Don’t follow the expectations of others. Set your own goals.

  3. Reflect on why you are making the choices and decisions you are making. Are you making those choices because others expect it of you, and that is the perception of how you should behave, or are you doing so because you know this is the right decision for you

  4. Believe in your own choices and decisions. This can be difficult at first, but over time will get easier. Know you are making the best decision for yourself.

  5. Don’t compare your journey and path to others’. You have your own experiences and desires. Focus on your path.

  6. Become comfortable with yourself. Appreciate your qualities and character.Not sure how? Start writing down what you do well, and what you enjoy.

  7. Embrace the effort, time, and skills you applied toward your accomplishments. Write down what your accomplishments have been and the effort, skills, and knowledge you put toward those successes as well as what you learned from them.

  8. Celebrate your accomplishments. When you celebrate them, you are acknowledging what you have achieved and realizing how you have made it to that step and goal you set for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a big goal, as each step is a sign of your success.

Appreciating Yourself & Your Achievements

It takes time to become comfortable with being you and break down the impostor syndrome mask. Remember you need to stop presenting the fake persona and not just embrace your authentic self, but also be comfortable with presenting the authentic you to others.

Appreciating yourself will help you to stop feeling the need to fake it and feel good about being you. Your true self.

Acknowledging your accomplishments and success, and all the small steps along the way will help you to recognize you are making it toward your goal. When you do achieve your goals, you will know you were the one to achieve them, and that you’ve truly “made it” because you were the one to set and achieve the goal.

Don’t fake it till you make it. Be appreciative and proud of your challenges and successes along the way, and how you are making the best decisions and choices for your growth and journey in life.

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Victor Mosconi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Victor Mosconi, is a PhD Candidate in Psychology, with a Master’s in Psychology of Leadership Development and Coaching, a Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and founder of Imposter Solution Coach. Through his life-long experience with imposter syndrome, his psychology background, and coaching skills, Victor specializes in supporting up-and-coming women leaders and entrepreneurs in overcoming their self-doubt and imposter thoughts to develop a mindset of self-appreciation and strong self-belief. Take his quiz on his website and discover what level of impostor syndrome you experience.



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