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Jul 24 2017
by Caroline Mulvaney

6 Ways to Overcome Your 'Impostor Syndrome'

By Caroline Mulvaney - Jul 24 2017
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Though you may have never heard of it, impostor syndrome is a very common problem amongst students of all ages. The American Psychological Association defines imposter syndrome as “[occurring] among high achievers who are unable to internalize and accept their success. They often attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than to ability, and fear that others will eventually unmask them as a fraud.” However, you don’t have to let your own insecurities ruin the successes you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Here are six tips to overcome your own mind and own your achievements. 

1. Talk to people who can help you recognize your success. 

Be it a favorite teacher, a close friend or even a guidance counselor or therapist, talking to someone about your insecurities and having their support and encouragement can be an extremely beneficial step. Other people always see us in a way that is different from how we see ourselves. 

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2. List out your talents and triumphs.

You can make it a mental list or put it on paper to look at it when you're feeling down. Admitting your own successes is fighting against the impostor syndrome mentality, and also helping you gain self-confidence. 

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3. Make sure you know that no one is perfect. 

Cheesy, but true. Everyone has moments of self-doubt. There are even very successful and admirable figures, such as Emma Watson and Maya Angelou, who have admitted to feeling like frauds in their own field. You're not alone. 

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4. Don't compare yourself to other people.

Looking at everyone around you and convincing yourself you're not as good or deserving as they are is an easy way to fall into impostor syndrome thinking. Instead, use other's victories as inspiration. "If they did that then so can I," that sort of thing. 

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5. Use your failures. 

Again, cheesy, but if you look at your failures as learning experiences rather than proof of your own unworthiness, you can make a lot more progress in life. It will help you avoid making the same mistakes again and to keep a positive outlook.