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3 Tips for The Expert Imposter

Updated: Apr 10

Have you ever looked at a job description and didn't apply because you didn't meet ALL the requirements? Do you believe that you could never be good at what you do because there will always be someone better than you? The Imposter Syndrome Expert is a recognizable voice that sometimes shouts that we need more education or more experience. It convinces us that we innately lack and are not good enough.

Here are my top three tips for turning down the volume of the voice of The Expert.

Tip #1 - Learn to work with your Inner Critic

Are you familiar with your Inner Critic? Most of us experience the nagging and sometimes overwhelming internal dialogue that casts doubt on our self-confidence and the validity of our accomplishments. Originally our Inner Critic served to help us survive but, in modern life, the Inner Critic can increase our anxiety and leave us in a state of hyper-vigilance.

There are a large number of resources available to help you work with your Inner Critic. My work with my inner critic all began with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I know that the realities of the world and the mental health industry do not make this solution available to everyone. I also highly recommend the book Embracing Your Inner Critic by Hal Stone. This book was the first my therapist recommended for me to read. I cannot quantify how much the information in this book changed my life.

Tip #2 - Develop the skills necessary receive and integrate feedback and compliments

As a former HR professional, I have been on the giving and receiving end of constructive feedback. Giving constructive feedback is a skill that not many people cultivate, so if receiving feedback sometimes feels like the end of the world, I deeply empathize. But I'm here to share that effective constructive feedback offers a glimpse into how our work is perceived by the world around us. Feedback is like a puzzle piece identifying tool that helps us reach our goals. Receiving constructive feedback is an opportunity for growth. Shifting our mindset around the purpose and nature of feedback is a life-changing first step.

Sometimes mental health factors are at play that can prevent you from positively receiving feedback. Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria (RSD) is common among neurodivergent populations but is also prevalent in people experiencing mental health distress or in recovery from trauma. This RSD can create physical symptoms when a persona feels emotional distress from receiving negative feedback or rejection. This causes a release of stress hormones to flood the body, making it feel impossible to move forward.

If you have trouble receiving feedback, you most like also struggle to receive a compliment. Receiving compliments is a vital tool for helping you regain self-confidence. To be clear, I am not talking about physical compliments. I'm talking about the compliments given to you based on the quality of your work, the effort you exerted to complete it, or the mastery you have exhibited in skill or talent.

I struggle to receive compliments. My auto response is to deflect the attention and to move the conversation to a different point. I don't think this is an uncommon response as it is ingrained in our society to question our worth and not be "so full of ourselves." In 2020 one of my favorite mediation teachers, Dora Kamau, released a meditation on Insight Timer that changed my life. It is entitled, I Receive That. This mediation inspired me to change my mindset and behavior. When I now receive a compliment, I stop and say "I receive that." This is a way for me to express gratitude for the person giving me the compliment and also encourages me to actually hear the words and receive the intention behind the compliment.

"Receiving is just half the battle releasing and believing is part and parcel of this practice." – Dora Kamau

Tip #3 - Stop minimizing your accomplishments celebrate your wins

Imposter Syndrome can convince you that you have achieved your status and success through luck or chance. When we minimize even our smallest wins, we directly contribute to the cycle of low self-esteem and confidence. Celebrating success is a key to battling Imposter Syndrome. When we celebrate, we are reminded of all the ways that we are talented and acknowledge the hard work we have contributed towards our success.

I fell into the trap of not celebrating smaller wins because I was waiting to celebrate things that I thought were more "deserving." Over time I realized that if I wasn't comfortable acknowledging and celebrating small wins, how could I be able to celebrate my big accomplishments?

Your celebrations do not have to be grand to be effective. A simple celebration depends on doing something that you considered a treat outside of your typical routine. Your celebration can be as simple as collecting your accomplishments into a running list or participating in a nourishing yoga practice after meeting a deadline, or treating yourself to your favorite hike when a collaboration goes well.

The Expert does NOT know best

Just like the other four types of Imposter Syndrome, there are specific ways to work with The Expert and reclaim your power. These three tips are powerful tools to add to your mental health toolkit. If you are ready to take your healing one step further, Click Here to learn more and sign up for my new self-paced Imposter Syndrome mini course.


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I'm Dani

I blend the transformative power of therapeutic yoga and career coaching to guide your toward holistic well-being and professional fulfillment. 

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