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The Cost Of Impostor Syndrome And 4 Best Steps To Take Right Now To Grow Your Self-Belief

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.

 

Do you realize the cost impostor syndrome has on your life? Most never think of the cost, they think of the fear of failure and worry about never being good enough for themselves or anyone else, but don’t realize the cost.


There is a cost to you when experiencing impostor syndrome. A real cost that negatively impacts your life.


Study findings often show the negative effects impostor syndrome has on your confidence, self-perception, and personal and career choices and decisions, but rarely do studies look at the cost of impostor syndrome to a person.

Impostor syndrome can cost you your mental health, your physical health, and the growth and development of your life and career, not to mention a financial cost. Impostor syndrome impacts many areas of your life because the effects are intertwined with each other.


How you might ask?


Mental and Physical Cost


Impostor Syndrome will cost you your mental health by constantly doubting yourself and creating mental exhaustion, mental fatigue, self-doubt, self-criticism, perfectionism, anxiety, and depression.


Impostor syndrome will cost you your physical health through your mental health by experiencing physical exhaustion, illness, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal issues, heart issues, raised blood pressure, and severe headaches/migraines.


Cost to your Growth


The mental and physical costs are high on their own. But impostor syndrome will also cost you your growth and development in your life by:

  • Avoiding new projects and new opportunities.

  • Not asking for help.

  • Avoiding chances to share your voice regarding your opinion, ideas, and thoughts.

  • Missing out on developing new skills.

  • Missing out on promotions.

  • Not asking for a raise.

  • Avoiding career and job opportunities that you have dreamed of and desire in wanting that better life.

  • Setting low prices for your knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The cost is high. You lose out on the life you desire. By holding yourself back, and keeping yourself from being your authentic self, you miss opportunities.

Financial Cost

The financial cost to those that experience impostor syndrome can be staggering when you see it in numbers and percentages.

Studies have shown that stress and lack of sleep will cause you to lose around $3500 per year due to physical and mental exhaustion and illness.


Impostor syndrome will also be damaging as you may avoid going for a promotion or asking for a raise which can cost you $7500 per year. Fear of seeing yourself worthy enough of a raise you deserve, and fear of being told you aren’t good enough compared to others, keeps you from growing financially.


This financial cost also impacts in other ways as 68% of solo business owners and entrepreneurs will reduce their prices for fear of not believing they are worthy of a higher price or that others will see them as not good enough for that price. As a business owner, you need to get the word out about your business, however, 64% who experience impostor syndrome will turn down opportunities to promote or market their business for fear of being seen as a fraud, or not being seen as good enough.


The cost of your mental and physical health, growth, and finances are high. Impostor syndrome doesn’t just impact and negatively affect one area of your life, but will interweave throughout many parts of your life and will compound your struggles due to the negative effects.


Once you understand the costs to you, you can begin to make the changes to reduce the cost of impostor syndrome in your life and increase the benefits in your life through growing your self-belief.


4 Steps to Grow Your Self-Belief


These 4 steps can help you to grow your self-belief which will increase your life benefits.

  • Stop comparing your life to everyone else. This is your journey and you need to focus on building and living your life. Embrace what is best for you. Know that your choices and decisions are for the benefit of what you want to achieve and desire for your life to flourish. This is your life. Don’t dismiss who you are and what you want because society says you “need” or “should” live by what they expect. Live your life for yourself.

  • Appreciate your own character and qualities. Along the lines of not comparing to others, don’t focus on what you lack or “if I had (insert skill/knowledge/item here), I’d be better or good enough”. Instead, focus on and appreciate your own character traits and the qualities you currently possess. And how they have helped you to achieve what you have so far. These qualities of yours set you apart from others and show how you make your mark on this world. Don’t downplay who you are. Embrace who you are and what you bring to the world.

  • Failure is not the end. Learn to see mistakes and failures not as a reflection of you, but of the situation and circumstance. See them as challenges to learn and grow from for the next opportunity. Mistakes are a part of life. You’re doing the best you can with what you know at the time and within your current situation. Acknowledge this, and grow from there.

  • Build a growth mindset. First described by Dr. Carol Dweck, a growth mindset is based upon your capabilities, qualities, and effort to grow your talent and skills in pursuit of achieving your goals. You are not limited by who you are or who you have been but can create the life you desire and want by learning. Through your effort to learn, you will grow and you’ll understand how setbacks will help you to develop skills and new processes on how to overcome challenges.

Benefits of Your Growth


These 4 steps will help you to break down your impostor syndrome thoughts, and reduce their influence on your life. In doing so, the restrictive mindset and negative self-belief will begin to shift toward a growth mindset of possibilities and the self-belief of knowing you have value. And your qualities and capabilities will help you to achieve the life you want.


As your self-belief grows, your mental health will improve, and so too will your physical health. You will begin to take the opportunities that align with your life goals. You will create possibilities that align with your life desires. You will share your thoughts and ideas because you know you have a voice and have value in not just what you say, but in who you are. You will grow from the challenges of mistakes and failures because you know you are doing your best and continuing to learn. You will know you are worthy of the job position, the raise, and the monetary value you see within your experience, skills, and abilities.

Impostor syndrome can be costly to your life in many areas. But you have the power and ability to reduce those costs and increase the benefits that will help your life flourish. Be your authentic self. Appreciate yourself, build up your self-belief in knowing you are worthy of good, you have value and you are capable of achieving success.


Follow me on Instagram, and visit my website for more info!


 

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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