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Super Quick Impostor Syndrome Hack

Written by: Dara Connolly, 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.


“I’m not ready.”

“Other people are smarter/more prepared/hard-working/deserving than me.”

Do you catch yourself saying these things?

If so, you are not alone.

According to a 2020 survey by Medical News, up to 82% of people experience impostor syndrome feelings of self-doubt so strong that they have a fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”

Both men and women experience these feelings it’s common among high achievers. Some of our most beloved celebrities admit to experiencing impostor syndrome. Including:

  • Michelle Obama

  • Tom Hanks

  • Sheryl Sandberg

  • Lady Gaga

  • Barbara Corcoran‍‍‍

  • Tina Fey

As a confidence coach who works with clients to overcome impostor syndrome, one thing I have learned is that we can diffuse these feelings by following what I call my 4 C’s formula:

When thoughts of “Competition, Comparison, Correction, and Criticism” appear, replace these 4 with “Challenges, Competency, Consistency, and Celebration.”

The pesky feeling of Impostor Syndrome that most people experience only shows up when we compare or compete ourselves with others.

Has this ever happened to you?

  • You watch a colleague crush a presentation, and you instantly rethink if you are ready for your next speech

  • You hear of a family member’s success, and you begin to question your business idea– after all, they were always smarter than you

  • You feel embarrassed your Instagram post has only 12 likes after seeing a friend’s post go viral with thousands of views

When we compare ourselves with others, feelings of not being good enough suddenly appear. However, your experience is relative to your perspective. What if your social media post only received 12 likes, but it significantly changed the lives of those 12 people, would you still question your content then?

Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we need to focus on overcoming our challenges and competencies. What are the obstacles you overcame? What are your unique talents, skills, and gifts that you can contribute?

When we spend more time looking at what we do well and how far we have come, we increase our self-worth.

The next two C’s to watch out for after “Competition and Comparison” are “Correction and Criticism.”

Be discerning from who you take advice and feedback.

A good example of this was the first time I gave a presentation at a conference. A few moments before my speech, I watched another presenter speak to a standing-room-only packed audience. Even though I was prepared, feelings of inadequacy and impostor syndrome crept in.

Was I good enough?

They seem so much better than me.

Maybe I’m not cut out for this.

I’m not ready. And so on.

Before I took the stage, I spoke to the “popular” presenter and told him how much I enjoyed his presentation and that I was nervous to follow him. To be helpful, he started giving me advice about what to say and do in my speech. This left me doubting what I had previously written and prepared. Impostor syndrome was in full effect suddenly, my speech (and I) was not good enough.

There is a time and place for correction and criticism. However, a few minutes before you are about to walk onto a stage is not the time to revamp a speech. I decided to go with my original content. Even though I didn’t have as large an audience as him, it was still a success for me, and I celebrated.

Do not focus on competition or feedback, or criticism. The only person who can determine the value of what you bring is you.

Remind yourself that your job is to stay in your lane and run your race. Think of yourself as a racehorse running with blinders on you cannot turn your head to look at the competition. You must stay forward and focused on your goal.

Use the 4 C’s formula the next time you feel impostor syndrome: Face your challenges, worry less about the competition, and consistently do what you do, then celebrate your wins.

If impostor syndrome is preventing you from living a fulfilled life, I am here to support you. I have created a new CLUB to help you begin right now.

Accountability is the multiplier for success. When we set out to make improvements to our lives, consistency and support are key. Information alone does not transform us:

Subscribe to my FREE tips for monthly insights that will transform your life, or Jump on a Free Call to learn more about working with me.

If you’ve read my article, I’d love to hear from you!

Follow me on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info.

Read more from Dara!


Dara Connolly, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dara Connolly is the author of the new book Flip Your Fear and founder of PTC™– an award-winning confidence program for women. Dara was the ultimate juxtaposition– a Black-Belt martial artist and a lifelong timid wallflower filled with fear! She now helps women who are tired of getting talked over or feeling ignored to Speak up to be heard, kick Fear to the curb, and be TEDx confident!

She is a TEDx speaker and nationally recognized expert in the field of confidence which has helped thousands. Dara has been featured on FOX, CW, The Connect Show, The List Show, Dr. Laura, and other media outlets. Her mission: Every Woman Can Live with Fearless Confidence.


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