5 Ways Imposter Syndrome is Hurting You

5 Signs Imposter Syndrome is Hurting You

Do these thoughts run through your mind? Even a little bit of the time?

-> “I’m not good enough.”-> “They’re going to find me out.”-> “I should really be better at…”-> “I never get it right…”

You’re not alone.

Even the famed poet Maya Angelou said,

“I’ve written 11 books. And each time I think uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

I don’t know a single person who hasn’t had Imposter’s Syndrome, at least part of the time.

The question is, if everyone has it, is it really impacting your happiness?

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5 signs that Imposter Syndrome is hurting you, and what to do about it.

1. You spend time beating yourself up for ‘failures’ or ‘not moving fast enough’.

How this hurts your happiness:Whenever you get nervous about failures, or think ‘I should be moving faster’, it usually results in a flurry of activity.

Activity isn’t bad, but if it’s not thought-out or strategic, you’re doing ‘lots of activity’, but not necessarily making decisions that will be better for you in the long run.

What to do about it:Ask yourself, ‘Is there actually something I need to do more of, or need to do faster?’

Sometimes you may find that you’ve been procrastinating. That’s a good time to start a new habit, like focusing on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

2. You think you should always be perfect.

How this hurts your happiness:It’s absolutely valid to consider doing the best you can. However, you’re human, not a robot. It’s okay to make mistakes.

If you spend all your time trying to be perfect (or trying to hide your so-called ‘inadequacies’ from everyone else ) you’ll end up worrying and getting stressed because you’re trying to attain the impossible, which is to be perfect all the time.

What to do about it:Ask yourself, ‘Is there an opportunity to be easier on myself?’

Ask this question at a time you feel conflicted; for example, after you’ve made a mistake and have taken a dent in your confidence. If you determine that you can improve next time you do that task, be easy on yourself and don’t let the idea of perfection stop you from being happy.

3. You question yourself, and whether you should even be doing this.

How this hurts your happiness:It’s difficult to feel confident and happy when you’re questioning yourself all the time.

Your confidence is your #1 happiness-building tool — more than your job, and even more than your relationships. When you’re lacking confidence, you feel weaker and less effective. You feel you’re not good enough, not up to scratch.

What to do about it:Keep a mental ‘cooky jar’ of success stories and ‘thank-you’s from friends, family, collegues, even strangers.

Even write them down in a ‘success journal. so when you’re questioning yourself, open it and read some of them. Celebrate these little success stories.

4. You keep your self-esteem too low, or are too quick to say ‘yes’ to everyone.

How this hurts your happiness:Not valuing yourself and what you do is a problem.

But it’s more than that. When you don’t value yourself, others won’t value you either. If you keep your self-esteem low (i.e. self-worth), you’ll feel you need to say ‘yes’ to everyone in order to feel important and needed. This is a sure way to get walked over.

What to do about it:Don’t discount yourself, ever. Put a high value on yourself. If you don’t, you’ll only cheapen yourself.

Quality comes at a price. You’re worth that price because you are quality. Believe it. Know it. Feel it.

5. Imposter Syndrome means you don’t fully commit. You don’t make bold moves because you aren’t sure you can succeed.

How this hurts your happiness:If you’re unsure about whether a path is the right one for you, you will be hesitant and you will walk down it more slowly. You don’t go ‘all in’ because there is a part of you that feels it’s safer to hold back.

That means that you probably won’t invest in the help you need, the infrastructure you need to create, and the person you need to become.

What to do about it:Work with a life coach who will support you to make the moves you need to make. Become part of a community that will support you in your commitments.

And whatever you do, don’t do it alone. Your life, and your happiness, is not a DIY activity.

If you saw yourself in ANY of these, it’s time to do something different.

Now is the Time. Take the First Step to Unlock the Life You Want Today!


At 818: Unlocking Your Life, we help proactive people thrive the SMART way. We give you the keys to a happy, healthy and wealthy mindset so you can free your time and live the life you always wanted. 818: Unlocking Your Life gives regular workshops, seminars, presentations, and courses to serve those who want to make a positive difference through positive action.

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