Donna Reade

QuickBooks Online Consulting & Bookkeeping

What to Do When You Feel Like a Fraud

Have you ever thought to yourself, “One of these days people will realize I do not know as much as they think,” then you are in excellent company!

The Imposter Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to see their own accomplishments, dismissing them as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe.

This problem is only getting worse as more of us are tied to our online presences; we are in this culture where you have got to sell yourself aggressively while remaining authentic. You need to be yourself and more.

Here are the ways I keep going when I feel like a fraud:

Focus on providing value; not on attaining perfection.
Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome requires self-acceptance. The fastest way to get over feeling like a fraud is to genuinely try to help someone else. You do not have to attain perfection to share something with the world that enriches people’s lives in some way.

Accept that you have had some role in your successes.
You may feel like a fraud because you are unable to internalize your successes. You fear being found out and attribute your success to external factors – like luck or a helping hand. Just as you must take responsibility for your failures in life, you must also take responsibility for your successes.

Stop comparing yourself to that person.
The reality is that many people are stretched and struggling just like you. Perhaps not in the same way, but in their own way, with their own unique set of challenges, insecurities and internal struggles. You are here to do whatever life you can. Learn to respect your own experience. You are not a fraud, you are just you.

Realize that when you hold back, you are robbing the world.
Everyone has doubts, the best gift you can give the world is to move forward regardless of the doubts—because it gives everyone else permission to move forward as well.

Realize that nobody knows what they’re doing.
There are a ton of people who will tell you they know the answers. These people are liars.
The world we live in is the result of a lot of brave people tinkering, failing, and succeeding once in a while. Nobody knows what’s next: some are willing to play ball in the face of uncertainty and some are not. You are not an impostor for trying something that might not work.

It takes courage to take on challenges and pursue aspirations that leave you wide open to falling short, losing face and being found out. It is only when you refuse to let your doubts dictate your choices, you open new doors of opportunity and discover just how much you can really do.

One Response to What to Do When You Feel Like a Fraud

  1. Yvonne Chang says:

    Great article, Donna.

    A reminder to me that we all feel like frauds at different times in life, but I need to keep going and the world will be a better place.

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