Do you sometimes feel like a fraud at work? Do you struggle with feelings of self-doubt and question your competence and achievement? Are you worried people are constantly judging you?
You may suffer from imposter syndrome – and you’re not alone. An estimated 70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point of their lives, according to research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science.
The good news is, impostor syndrome doesn’t have to be a forever thing you’re stuck with. You can combat it with these simple daily habits that will boost your confidence. “Impostor syndrome is simply a bunch of thoughts and feelings you have about yourself. And thoughts and feelings can be changed,” says life and confidence coach Savanna Schiavo, who helps clients overcome impostor syndrome on a regular basis.
How Small Habits Can Have A Big Impact On Confidence
Wondering how exactly to change your thoughts and feelings about yourself? It’s a matter of self-awareness and baby steps. “Small daily habits make an impact on your confidence, the same way that small daily habits can negatively impact and trigger your self-doubt and insecurity. Confidence is a feeling generated by the way we think. In order to grow our confidence, we need to fuel our desired emotional states with regular practices that incorporate the sort of thinking we want to have about ourselves, our abilities, and what’s possible for us,”says Schiavo.
According to her, the brain has thousands of thoughts a day, most of which are unconscious. Your imposter syndrome is fed by unconscious thoughts that make you feel doubtful, insecure and incapable in your day-to-day life. You can reverse this through conscious, intentional actions that train your brain to think in a more empowering way.
Five-Minute Confidence Boosters To Combat Imposter Syndrome
These three confidence-boosting daily practices that will transform your relationship with yourself and combat impostor syndrome, five minutes at a time.
Tap Into Your Future Confident Self
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine for a moment that impostor syndrome does not rule your life. “Take a moment to imagine yourself as the confident person you want to be in your role, relationships or life,” says Schiavo. Now, answer the following questions:
- If you felt confident, what would be different about you?
- What would you be doing?
- What would you no longer be doing?
Insightful, right? Consider one habit that your future self – the one who lives and leads with confidence – embraces. For example, you may identify that your future self shares their input in meetings, or that they don’t say yes when they really mean no. Start acting like this now.
“This is so effective because you get to imagine, and then tap into a more confident version of yourself, almost as if you’re playing a role. Confidence starts in the mind. It helps to adopt new practices that support the mindset(s) you want about yourself, because self-belief fuels action, and action builds upon self-belief,” says Schiavo.
Prove Yourself To Yourself
Another five-minute confidence booster is writing down all the ways in which the voice of your impostor syndrome is wrong. Grab a pen and paper and start journaling based on the following prompts, recommends Schiavo:
- Write out everything that someone in your role does. What are the tasks they complete? What are the day to day activities they do? What does their role look like?
- Write out everything that you do in your role. What are the tasks you complete? What are the day to day activities you do? What does your role look like?
- Reflect on your answers to both questions. How are you fulfilling your role? How are you living as the expert in your role on a day to day basis? What proof exists that you are efficiently fulfilling your role in your work?
“This short daily practice is effective because it’s showing the mind how you are meeting the requirements and roles of your position. The mind loves to have evidence to support new beliefs it wants to adopt, so by outlining the role and then demonstrating how you meet it as a daily, repeated practice, you effectively provide proof for your brain to develop new neural pathways and adopt new, positive beliefs about yourself,” she says.
Track And Recognize Your Progress And Wins
Tracking and recognizing your progress and wins on paper (or on your phone or computer) is another empowering daily habit that only takes a few minutes. Since, as Schiavo puts it, impostor syndrome can have you “overlooking your qualities, expertise, and brilliance,” you’ll want to celebrate yourself on a regular basis.
“One way to improve self-confidence and combat impostor syndrome is to maintain a practice that recognizes and tracks our progress, accomplishments and wins throughout our day or week,” she says. “It can be easy to overlook our progress and miss our own growth, accomplishments and qualifications. When we make it a regular practice to track and note or even celebrate our progress, we build greater belief and self-confidence in ourselves and our abilities.”
Practice Makes Perfect
Adopting the three simple habits above will have a powerful impact on your confidence. Just remember that practice makes perfect. “It’s important to consciously and deliberately practice the thinking and mindsets that help us feel the way we want to feel about ourselves, because the brain – if it hasn’t been trained or primed to do so – won’t automatically think in empowering ways as a default,” adds Schiavo.