This Is How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome: 4 Secrets From Research

This Is How To Overcome Impostor Syndrome: 4 Secrets From Research

If happiness involves living authentically.

Then happiness will be difficult, if not impossible, if you’re constantly feeling like you’re not living your own life.

Imposter syndrome is a common experience for many; and one that involves (among other things) not feeling worthy of that which you’ve achieved.

The good news, however, is that there are ways to overcome imposter syndrome and in doing so, enjoying more happiness…

via Eric Barker

Impostor Syndrome is like being a secret agent — in the most depressing way imaginable.

No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you achieve, you still feel like a fraud. You still question your ability and you’re waiting to be exposed. More formally, it’s often referred to as “a failure to internalize success.” You attribute your accomplishments to luck or insane amounts of effort, but never talent or skill.

Ask yourself these questions:

From The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It:

  • Do you chalk your success up to luck, timing or computer error?
  • Do you believe “if I can do it, anybody can”?
  • Do you agonize over the smallest flaws in your work?
  • Are you crushed by even constructive criticism, seeing it as evidence of your ineptness?
  • When you do succeed, do you secretly feel like you fooled them again?
  • Do you worry that it’s a matter of time before you’re “found out”?

If you’re nodding your head, you’re not alone. 70% of people have felt it at one time or another — with some experiencing it chronically. And some very big names have been afflicted with it:

Albert Einstein:

…the exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.

Maya Angelou:

I have written eleven books, but each time I think, “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

I can only dream that I will one day reach their level of astounding fraudulence. Jeez, look how inferior my fraudulence is to theirs. I’m a fraud at being a fraud… Seriously, there’s a lesson here: these two make it abundantly clear that no amount of achievement is going to convince you. That approach won’t work.

And much of the advice we get isn’t helpful either. Merely “telling yourself you’re good enough” has all the scientific rigor of a Hallmark Card. Self-affirmations are as likely to cure this as they’d cure baldness. We need real answers, not platitudes.

Funny thing is there’s a whole pile of scientific research that addresses this issue. It’s called “self-efficacy.” The concept was coined by Albert Bandura. He’s widely considered the most influential living psychologist and one of the most cited of all time. If there was a Mount Rushmore for psychology, his face would be up there. Bandura’s book is Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control.

Now I hate when people use phrases like “learning your own value” because while it sounds really nice, nobody explains how to actually do it.

Time to roll up your sleeves, bubba. We’re gonna fix that.

Let’s get to it…

So What The Heck Is Self-Efficacy?

It’s “perceived ability to succeed at a given task.” It’s a belief, not an objective measure of ability. But it’s a thermonuclear powered belief and has an eye-popping effect on your life, whether you know what it is or not.

From Self-Efficacy:

Perceived self-efficacy refers to beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments… People’s beliefs in their efficacy affect almost everything they do: how they think, motivate themselves, feel, and behave.

It can even be more important than skill. No doubt, actual skills are critical. If you have self-efficacy but no real driving ability, I’m not getting in your Uber. But that said, if you don’t believe you can accomplish something, you probably won’t try. And even if you do try, when you meet resistance, you’ll give up.

And the effects of self-efficacy beliefs have been found in a staggering number of diverse arenas: academic grades, weight management, social behavior, health habits, occupational performance, etc.

From Self-Efficacy:

Where performance determines outcome, efficacy beliefs account for most of the variance in expected outcomes. When differences in efficacy beliefs are controlled, the outcomes expected for given performances make little or no independent contribution to prediction of behavior.

“Oh, so it’s self-esteem and confidence.”

That’s not what I said. Don’t put words in my mouth… Um, actually, I just put words in your mouth.  ANYWAY, point is, self-efficacy is distinct from self-esteem and confidence, otherwise I promise I’d be writing a post on self-esteem and confidence because explaining new words is hard when old ones work fine.

Self-efficacy is your belief about your ability to accomplish a specific goal while self-esteem is a judgment of personal worth. My self-efficacy about my ability to eat ice cream might be high, but I don’t think that makes me a good person. And confidence is more generalized, while self-efficacy is task-specific. You can be a very confident person and still not have self-efficacy when it comes to performing an appendectomy.

So how does this relate to impostor syndrome? Well, impostor syndrome is fundamentally a belief issue. You could be saying, “I don’t have impostor syndrome, I actually suck at this and my results confirm that.” Instead, you’re saying, “I’m aware my performance is solid but I don’t believe it’s due to talent.”

Impostor syndrome is about your lack of belief in your skill at something. Having self-efficacy is a healthy amount of belief in your skill at something. If we increase the latter, we get rid of the former. We need to get you to believe that your ability — not luck or mere hard work — is the primary active ingredient in your success.

(To learn more about how you can lead a successful life, check out my bestselling book here.)

So how do we boost self-efficacy? Bandura lays out 4 things that will do the job. They all have big, fancy academic sounding names that make my spellchecker go heavy on the red underlining. We’re gonna translate them in to English-that-people-actually-speak because I don’t like migraines any more than you do.

Let’s start with the one that is, in general, most powerful…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE