Published: May 14, 2021
Self-doubt or imposter syndrome: we’ve all felt it at one point or another. In fact, according to an article in Time magazine, a study published by International Journal of Behavioral Science found that an estimated 70% of people experience these impostor feelings at some point in their lives. It is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. Many prospective students at the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy doubt their own abilities and experiences when considering whether they are able to become health coaches—and the truth is, what makes a great health coach are the unique abilities and experiences YOU bring to the table!
Self-doubt is a part of human nature. It’s that little voice that makes you stop and question yourself. What if I mess up? Will I make a fool out of myself? What will people say? Maybe I am just not smart enough, talented enough, capable enough, experienced enough to do xyz…
STOP IT RIGHT THERE!
While imposter syndrome and self-doubt are not specifically a mental health problem, it can be closely linked if you find yourself consistently thinking of negative thoughts that can affect your self-esteem. As Forbes wrote, “The fear that fuels our doubt can drive us to be overcautious and keep us from taking the very actions that would help us and serve others.” If left unchecked, this could possibly lead to mental health problems such as chronic depression and/or anxiety down the road.
While none of us are immune to self-doubt or imposter syndrome, we do have the ability to keep it from directing our decisions using some key Positive Psychology strategies that we teach in our Health Coaching Certification Program, such as the “PERMA” Theory of Well-Being.
Here are 5 ways to change your mindset and reclaim that confidence within yourself using “PERMA”!
P – Positive Emotions: Begin to cultivate positive emotions of happiness and gratitude by giving yourself credit for the hard-won accomplishments and achievements YOU’VE done. Sometimes it’s hard to step back and see all we’ve done. We need to be able to feel good, hopeful, and inspired by the things we do and the life we live. Embrace that!
E – Engagement: Your doubts are not the truth. What truly motivates you? When you have a source of passion and commitment to drive you, you will find that you can feel fired up and confident about tackling the task ahead.
R – (Positive) Relationships: Relationships are a crucial part of our sense of well-being and happiness. Positive and inspiring connections are contagious and often leave you ready to take that leap! Feeling supported by friends, family, loved ones, and our wider social circle who believe in you wholeheartedly can have a significant enough impact to help dissolve the doubt you’re experiencing.
M – Meaning: What is your purpose in life? Are you using that purpose to contribute to your community? Meaning is about more than just what you do; it also includes the ideas and beliefs you hold—about yourself and life in general—and how well you feel you live those beliefs authentically.
A – Accomplishment/Achievement: Now, when we mention accomplishment and achievement, we aren’t just talking about the strong sense of success or winning. We’re talking about achieving feasible, realistic goals that you can reach and feel a sense of progress in how you want to live your life—and give you the confidence in yourself you need to shut the imposter away.
Believing in yourself when it seems no one else believes in you is a challenge you CAN overcome. Take a moment and pat yourself on the back, because you are awesome for taking time to read about changing your mindset. An imposter is just that, it doesn’t have to be your reality if you don’t want it to be.