Feel Like a Fraud? Here’s How to Move Past It

I recently wrote an article for Inc where I talked about how many of my coaching clients are suffering from Imposter Syndrome. It seems like the more success they have the more they feel like a fraud.

I understand this on a deep level because, as it turns out, I feel like a fraud a lot of the time too. This is despite all the evidence that points to the exact opposite.

While I was doing research for that article, I found out that 70 percent of the population suffers from feeling like a fraud. That’s almost three-quarters of the world!

So, if you feel like a fraud, don’t worry about it because most of the world does too. With that being said, here’s how you can move past it.

Realize it’s never going to go away.

According to the research, feeling like a fraud doesn’t go away with more success. In fact, the more success you have the more you will feel like a fraud. It’s almost as if success just puts a magnifying glass on those feelings.

In other words, Imposter Syndrome doesn’t ever really go away. It will always be in the back of your mind in some way and it’s actually quite normal. That’s why the key to feeling like a fraud is learning how to work with it.

Surround yourself with the right people.

One thing that helps me when I start to feel like a fraud is to hang out with people who get it.

For example, I was recently catching up with my web designer who is also a friend of mine. We were talking about how far we’ve both come in our business. At some point, I mentioned how I feel like a fraud half the time to which my friend said “Oh my gosh! You too?!?!”

It helps to know that other people you know and respect are going through it too. From there, we talked each other out of it by reminding each other of all the reasons we’re not frauds.

Become your own biggest cheerleader.

I often get asked how I was able to move past feeling like a fraud in the beginning stages of my business – especially because I started writing about things like business and money at the tender age of 22.

The answer is that I became my own biggest cheerleader. This didn’t happen from one day to the next. In fact, it’s taken a lot of work for me to become this confident in my business and I still sometimes feel like a fraud.

Here are some of the things I did to become my own biggest cheerleader.

  • I have a running list of my accomplishments in a notebook.
  • I use affirmations.
  • I meditate.
  • I practice yoga.
  • I pay attention to how I’m thinking and the language I use.
  • I regularly try to cut myself some slack if I feel like I don’t understand something.
  • I ask for help if I need it.

I refer back to these activities every time I start to feel like a fraud again. Over time, the confidence starts to become second nature and it’s a little easier to keep Imposter Syndrome at bay.