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5 Imposter Syndrome Signs: Feeling like a Phony?

Do you ever feel like you don't deserve good things or as if your accomplishments are in vain? These are a couple Imposter Syndrome signs.

Do you feel that you’re often “faking it till you’re making it”? That oh-so-common saying is so much more meaningful for those of us experiencing Imposter Syndrome.

Am I fraud? Imposter Syndrome

Nobody ever wants to be called a “fake” or “phony”. Sadly, many of us say these things to ourselves. When you tell this to yourself, it is a common indication of a term called “Imposter Syndrome”.

5 Signs You're Experiencing Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome, or imposterism, lines up with issues of self-deprecation and plummeting confidence. For many people, it starts when we compare ourselves to others, leading to uncontrollable feelings of guilt.

Anyone can feel like an imposter when they truly are not. Mothers, teachers, professionals, and everyone in between can feel bogged down with anxiety. This can lead to feeling like they are fake.

It’s all too easy to question our own identity; even knowing our unique life experiences have built our core individuality.

Let’s look into the common thought processes of someone suffering from Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome

1. You Believe You Aren't Good Enough

The average person, as they grow through life, will have these thoughts from time-to-time. However, when it becomes a day-to-day belief, it can wreck our self-image and adhere us from reaching our full potential.

This is the most common of the Imposter Syndrome signs. It's important to remember, the following:

You will always have a particular strength that nobody else will truly grasp. It's important to always remember that you have core talents and values that most do not have.

2. You discredit your personal journey.

At some point, you have likely compared yourself to your idols and thought, “I’ll never be like them.

This is actually true. But not for the reason you think.

Our life experiences, no matter how trialing, difficult, or even easy, shape us into who we are. We’ll never be just like our idols. If we were, how original would we actually be?

Just because an idol had much different experiences as you, doesn’t mean your life experience makes you a fake.

In fact, it’s the complete opposite. That makes you even more real. Your personal journey will always separate you from the rest, making you 100% original and unique.

This is a symptom of Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome

3. You doubt your achievements.

The gloss and glamour of today’s media can give us a false perception of reality, including how goals can realistically be achieved. There are millions of self-help books that will have all of the lists, plans, and “solutions” that you believe you desire.

Understand that your life experiences are the driving force of your successes. Give yourself the credit you deserve for being where you are in life. If you worked hard to achieve success – then you deserve this. You are not a phony!

If you desire a different plan or route, make it happen using your prior achievements to fuel your goals. If you are happy with where you are, you must believe that it was YOU who got you here.

4. You feel like you’re cheating.

Or, you have convinced yourself that you have taken shortcuts in life to land where you are.

Social media, magazines, and TV tend to airbrush the lives of influencers and celebrities. Just because someone’s journey may be perceived as more difficult or even glamorous, doesn’t mean you’re a cheater.

The game of life has many twists and turns that land us in certain situations in different times than others. Some people will take three steps forward when others will take one step back. No matter where you are on the map, you haven’t cheated your way through life.

You are simply using the strategies you know to get to where you want to be. Be proud of that.

Why do I feel like I'm a fraud

5. You can't accept compliments.

An individual with Imposter Syndrome often has trouble accepting compliments or praise of any sort. They feel as if others are just being kind, rather than honest.

It's important to be accepting of praise and allow it to sink in. YOU have accomplished this. You deserve to be told you're a great mom, ideal friend, and a role model. Don't allow your negative self-talk to discourage that.

What Causes Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is caused by a wide variety of things from mental health issues to past experiences.

High Expectations

High expectations from others can often leave individuals feeling as if they will never be good enough. Then, when they finally do accomplish goals, they often feel as if it isn't deserved.

A Traumatic Event

Many people experience a traumatic event that completely alters the core of a person’s soul. You may feel anger, confusion, and doubt of who you are as a person. Many people start to think they will never be the person they once were before the trauma occurred.

The truth is, we may not be the same after a disturbing, life-altering event.

Imposter Syndrome

Will it completely wreck our individuality? Absolutely not. It will only build us up as someone who has seen, heard and experienced the feelings that only a warrior would understand.

You are not an imposter. You are a warrior.

Low Self-Esteem

Not believe in yourself, having low confidence and self-esteem are the leading causes of feeling like an imposter. If you don't trust yourself, you can't believe any nice things.

If you need tips for loving yourself better, please visit these posts: 45 Positive Affirmations for Women and 30 Day Self-Care Challenge

Emotional Abuse

Finally, emotional abuse can certainly cause someone to feel like an imposter. If you're constantly being told that you aren't good enough – why would you believe it?

Please remember that you can love after trauma and abuse, yourself and others.

If you're experiencing Imposter Syndrome and it's severely impacting your life, please consider seeing a licensed therapist or certified life coach!

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