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Why A Strong Self-Belief Is Important To Reducing Your Imposter Syndrome And 6 Tips To Get You There

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.

 

You have a task, project, or new life challenge coming up and your first thought is you can’t do this. You’re going to make mistakes and it’s going to go badly for you and this is why nothing goes well for you and you should just give up now because it doesn’t matter anyway since you don’t deserve good things in your life.


cheerful young man in casual clothes raised his fist with a happy smile on his face,

If you haven’t experienced this, yes, that is a true sample of the run-on thoughts that are experienced by some.


People you may share your experience with will point to you as having low self-confidence or say you shouldn’t doubt yourself and believe in yourself more and appreciate your own qualities. The challenge comes as it’s not just one of these aspects such as confidence, esteem, worth, or value, but all of them.


The stress of doing this task increases your imposter syndrome in hopes that if you’ll get lucky others will see your own worth and you’ll be seen as successful. You place your worth and value on chance and acceptance from others. But what you need is healthy self-belief. However, your imposter syndrome won’t allow that as you’ve built up a self-perception that you aren’t good enough and never will be.


So how do you break out of this negative self-perception to gain a healthy self-belief when your imposter thoughts won’t let you do so? The first is to understand what all these different terms mean so you can start to identify more about your own life.


What This Means

Self-confidence is your faith in your own capabilities to handle a challenge.


Self-esteem is your ability to value yourself and your appreciation of yourself. Be aware though, a person with high self-esteem can experience a lack of self-confidence.


Self-worth is about your value like self-esteem, but also how you see and feel about yourself as a good person and deserving of good things.


Self-value is how you treat yourself and see your own personal quality. Not just in what you do, but in who you are. So, self-worth is a feeling, and self-value is a behavior.


Self-belief then can be described as your personal belief in your ability to achieve your goals, trusting in your own capabilities, knowledge, values, and judgment, and being realistic about your faults and limitations while being able to accomplish a task or manage life overall.


Self-belief encompasses confidence, esteem, worth, and value in your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. When you have high self-belief, you are confident in your abilities and knowledge. You have esteem in how you appreciate yourself, you know your worth and know that even when you make mistakes you are at your core a good person. You will value yourself by knowing your quality and doing things that show self-care.


When you have low self-belief, you won’t have confidence in your abilities, and knowledge. You’ll have more doubt, and your esteem will be lower as you don’t appreciate not just your capabilities, but who you are. And you will perceive your worth will be low as you don’t feel you deserve good things, and in turn, won’t give yourself time for self-care or even feel you deserve it.


Now add imposter syndrome into the mix. Imposter syndrome also known as impostor phenomenon can be described as a complex construct that reflects the struggle to appreciate yourself and know your self-worth. It is the inability to recognize internalized successes and achievements, and constantly fearing you’re a fraud for not being good enough in what you do and who you are. At the same time, it is the need to constantly seek outside sources and people for acceptance and approval.


You compare yourself to others, and judge yourself by what others do, what they have, and how they live. All the while never seeing yourself with much value.


Impact On You

When you’re experiencing imposter syndrome and have low self-belief, it crushes you and stops growth and development in your life.


Imposter syndrome develops due to having your own self-confidence, esteem, worth, and value reduced due to criticism, judgment, and general dismissal of who you are and what you’re capable of doing.


And as your own self-belief decreases, your anxiety, stress, depression, perfectionism, fear of success, and fear of failure increase. Reducing your overall well-being in the process. Over time of continual criticism, your self-perception of who you are and what you’re capable of diminishes and eventually crumbles.


You then see yourself as not being worthy of anything good. Even though deep down you want good for yourself and will strive for it, be it through new knowledge, new job positions, and opportunities, with imposter syndrome you don’t believe you truly deserve it. Even if you succeed, you don’t see it as due to your own abilities, and skills, or capabilities.


When you go into a new opportunity experiencing imposter syndrome, you don’t see your own worth or value in being able to be successful. Once you have completed and achieved success, you don’t feel it was because of yourself but due to chance. You then don’t celebrate or appreciate what you have achieved. And then you’re looking over your shoulder constantly in fear, waiting for someone to tell you, “yes, you shouldn’t be here and you need to leave”.


This will be your cycle of life until you begin to build up your self-belief. Your imposter syndrome thoughts weren’t there at the beginning, they were created due to the judgment, criticism, bias, stigma, and lack of faith in you from others’ you experienced for years.


If you can build up this low self-belief and high imposter thoughts, then you can reduce those thoughts by building up your supportive, healthy self-belief, where you have confidence, esteem, and know your worth and value.


Importance of Self-Belief

Your imposter thoughts tear you down. You only see the negative about you and what you do. But you want to be seen as someone more. And you look to others for your validation and acceptance, yet never believe it because you don’t see it within you.


This is why self-belief is important. Your own value, worth, confidence, and esteem can never come from someone else or something else. It has to come from you.


You have to believe in yourself.


When you believe in yourself, you can face challenges and know you’ll do your best. You’ll understand your strengths and qualities and appreciate them, but also be open to new experiences for growth and development. You don’t see your limitations as a negative but in the understanding of where you are now and what you can do to improve.


But this all comes from you. Looking to others for your approval will never work. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’ll never believe what others say about you.


Also, by having a strong self-belief, when others talk down about you and throw negativity your way, and are judgmental, you will be able to separate their words from facts and know that you are more than their words because you believe in yourself.


This is why self-belief is so important. You recognize and acknowledge your own qualities and capabilities to carry you through any challenge and to help you continue moving forward in adversity. No other person’s words, actions, or behaviors will be able to get you down. No other setback from mistakes or failures will crush you, because you will know that you have value and worth and deserve good.


This all sounds good and may make sense to you. But the question still remains, how do you get there when you have low or no healthy self-belief?


Building up Self-Belief

Building up your self-belief takes time. You didn’t get to having imposter thoughts about yourself overnight. You didn’t build up a negative mindset in a day. As the negativity grew slowly, you can grow and build your healthy self-belief too. And these steps can help set you on that path.


Stop comparing

When experiencing imposter syndrome, you compare your life and self to others and do so with a very biased view. You see all the great things about others but only see the negatives of yourself. Stop the comparison. Focus on your own life and self. Don’t look at others as a “how come…?”, or “Why isn’t my life…?”. Refocus on “This is what I am doing…” and “My own growth is important because...”


Look to your own qualities

Yes, you have them. I know your first thought is you don’t have any qualities, but you need to take a hard look at yourself and begin identifying what qualities, skills, abilities, and knowledge you have. Think about what friends and family may have said, and also think about what you do well and feel good doing. It will take time, but build on it.


If you say “I’m good at communicating with others.” Then break it down as to how you are good at communicating with others. Is it because you listen to them? Is it because you give them space to be themselves? Those are two more qualities to add.


Look to your own character

The big challenge for some is to truly find character qualities about themselves. Are you optimistic? Trustworthy? Determined? Also, look at the physical characteristics you like about yourself. And yes, I know for some this can be a challenge. But begin to identify things you like about yourself. You like your eyes, great! Keep it there, though, don’t through in the “but, I wish they were…”. Focus just on the good about you and your character qualities.


Appreciate your achievements

Look back at what you have achieved in your life. Earned a degree? Were hired for a job? Earned a promotion? Bought your own car? Walked 5k, 10k, 20k steps? Whatever it is, recognize you did this. Reflect on what it took for you to create this success for yourself. Time, effort, studying, growing, learning? What did you do to achieve this success?


See your growth

We often will look at where we are now and see the road ahead of us. But rarely do people look back to see how far they have come. How much they have grown. Look back in the past 3 months, 6 months, or a year or more to see where you were in your life then, and where you are now.


What has changed, why has it changed, and how much of this change has been because of you and your growth and development? You’ll be surprised at how far you have come and your own growth when you can see it.


Celebrate You!

Finally, celebrate you and all you have done and achieved! There is always the next thing to do. But here is where you will take the time to appreciate your successes and growth. At the same time, give yourself that time for self-care.


It can be easy to dismiss as you may not feel it’s important. However, when you recognize your value, and appreciate your worth, you will take that time and care. Give yourself time to rest and appreciate all you’ve accomplished.


Self-Belief Growth

Building up your self-belief will help you to grow in confidence, esteem, worth, and value. You will recognize, appreciate and embrace your own qualities, character, and capabilities. You will know what your abilities, and knowledge are and accept your current limitations, but also be open and ready for growth and development. Always moving forward for your own life.


When empowered by this healthy self-belief, you won’t need to seek out approval and acceptance from others. And when others throw negativity at you, you will be secure in the honest truth of who you are and their words will have no impact on you.


Because of your self-belief, your imposter thoughts will begin to diminish and in time, be very quiet. Yes, there may be times they decide to roar back up due to a person or situation, but with your self-belief at a positive and self-supportive level, you can quickly quiet them down again, and know you are not those negative and toxic thoughts.


You have your healthy self-belief and are ready for the challenges that lie ahead.


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


 

Victor Mosconi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Victor Mosconi, is a Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology, with a Master’s in Psychology of Leadership Development and Coaching, a Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and the 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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