I feel like a fraud.

I first mention it here. There are times when I have to give classes that I am not fully certified for. There have also been instances when I feel like dying talking to people twice my age about mindfulness. And all the freelance work that I do, I’m always afraid that people will find out that I am not very talented.

I am a huge imposter.

That is in full contradiction to my perspective of life. I always believe that a lack of qualification or certification does not always equate to a lack of quality or skills.

And don’t we all have friends who negate their own work? Most of the time when we are reaching outside our comfort zone, we encounter the imposter syndrome: the feeling that you are just a fraud.

It happens even to the best people:

“I had on so much makeup and these big, fluffy, full-on dresses. I’d put my hands on the sink and look at myself in the mirror and say, ‘Who is this?’ I didn’t connect with the person who was looking back at me, and that was a very unsettling feeling.”
– Emma Watson, Actress

It is a weird notion that we work hard for our success yet feel inadequate in face of it. We should learn to embrace and celebrate success. So here are 10 ways we could take to defeat the imposter syndrome.

1. Don’t compare yourself to others. You have your own race to complete.

2. Write down what you’ve accomplished over the past years. Sometimes memories get fuzzy but writing it down helps to anchor our success.

3. Remember that being wrong doesn’t mean you are a fake. We learn through mistakes all the time.

4. Say what you can. We can’t know everything. In situation which we are asked things that we don’t know, admit that you don’t have the answers yet but you’ll find it.

5. Take action. Seeing the results and your own work will help to dispel the imposter syndrome

6. Perfection is impossible. We all have strengths and weaknesses. And it is perfectly normal to not be perfect. Remember the value that you are currently providing and work hard to improve yourself with every opportunities.

7. Differentiate reality from your feelings. Be aware of your feelings and recognize your tendency for imposter syndrome. That is where your list of accomplishment come into place to remind you of your reality

Everyone has skills and capabilities within them that could make them valuable to the society. The challenge that many of us face is enabling ourselves to rise up to our potential to best serve others and ourselves. If we are to succumb to our imposter syndrome, we will never set our vision far and reach for that horizon.

Practice the 7 ways to defeat your imposter syndrome and live out your potential.

Because you are not a fraud.