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4 Surprising But Genuinely Helpful Ways I Deal With Imposter Syndrome When It Feels Overwhelming

I’m not sure why I find myself speaking on Imposter Syndrome as often as I do. Perhaps it’s because I spend so much of my life debilitated by it, that I’d like to use whatever platform I created to help others recognize it and fight through it.

While self-doubt appears in a lot of sneaky ways, after they pile up, it can get REALLY overwhelming. Even when we do our best to take preventative measures:

  1. Mindfulness

  2. Routine self-care practices

  3. Setting boundaries

Imposter Syndrome will always be a part of us, and sometimes it can really knock us out. So today I want to share 4 kinda weird ways I deal with Imposter Syndrome AFTER I’m already feeling it get out of control.

man looking distressed while holding hands over face

Imposter Syndrome Strategy # 1 | Start a garden

So, while this will require long-term care, one of my favorite ways of relieving IS-overwhelm is tending to my tiny garden. There’s something about actually being able to SEE how nurturing something ACTUALLY grows right in front of your eyes. It’s kinda like the physical manifestation of what it’s like when you’re working on personal development and growing a business.

little green potted plants near shop for sale

Photo by Rachel Claire on

And I’m not even a very competent plant person, so even if you don’t think you have a green thumb, starting even a small garden in your window is a great place to retreat and reset when Imposter Syndrome strikes hard.

Not to mention, growing things like veggies or herbs is SUPER rewarding because you actually get to HARVEST the rewards of your labor.

Just be warned… starting a garden can get addictive. 😉

Imposter Syndrome Strategy # 2 | Argue with myself

Sometimes, when shit gets really heavy, I just have to sit down, face myself, and fight. The “we” that is “me” grab a pencil, paper, and start discussing the details of these feelings and why they’re unproductive. My ugly side does her best to convince me that I’m a failure, and I turn on a STRICTLY logical side of my brain and assess the situation as… well… blandly as I can.

This usually helps, especially when I think about my garden. I’m able to wrangle the negative feelings, and remember that even if I can’t SEE things growing right away, I know that they ARE.

anonymous fighters bumping fists before boxing

Photo by Julia Larson on

Now, when I say “argue with myself”, I’m not going on a tirade of self-depreciation. Switching into that purely logistical mindset is key, because it let’s me have a birds-eye view without all of the emotions that cloud a situation. I always try to acknowledge and appreciate my feelings without judgement… but I have absolutely no problem telling a negative voice in my head to shut the fuck up.

Imposter Syndrome Strategy # 3 | Learn something new

When I’m feeling super imposter-y and incompetent, I distract myself by learning something new. I usually read a blog or watch a Ted Talk that is (usually) relevant to what might be triggering my Imposter Syndrome.

I like Ted Talks because you can find presentations anywhere from 5-minutes to over an hour, so it can fit in quickly and easily.

brown book page

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on

Learning something new is a great way that I can take control of the situation in a constructive way, and I don’t think you ever lose out by nurturing knowledge. The confidence in newfound information can be really powerful, and I find this to be a really healthy way for me to take control of my emotions AND still distract myself from ugly feelings.

Imposter Syndrome Strategy # 4 | Straight Up Procrastinate

Listen, if it’s just really bad. I get up, walk away, and do something else. Usually I’ll tackle a smaller, semi-physical task like doing the dishes or laundry. This is known as Productive Procrastination, and I think it is a REALLY AWESOME tool to combat Imposter Syndrome.

I first heard the term used by Rowena Tsai (who I actually mention frequently here AND on my newsletter (click here to subscribe and get my FREE Blogging Checklist).

Productive procrastination is very self-explanatory, as it just means doing something “productive” as a means of procrastinating on doing something that might be “more important”. Now, while I am a strong believer in getting shit done, sometimes a little procrastination can be just the trick to help your reset and refocus.

Feeling the small victory of folded laundry, clean sink, or freshly vacuumed floors helps me out big time. Especially because I can usually burn a little extra energy, which helps with focusing, too.

So if shit just isn’t feeling right and none of the other tips help, go find something to productively procrastinate on and it might do the trick.

Just Remember Imposter Syndrome is something EVERYONE deals with

Sometimes the most helpful way of dealing with an “imposter Syndrome” strike is knowing it WILL pass. You WILL get through it, just as you’ve done every time before, and the only time you really fail is when you give up on yourself.

It’s okay to feel the feelings, and it’s usually best to face them head-on instead of letting them fester. But that isn’t always easy, because (as I said at the beginning) Imposter Syndrome can be very sneaky, and build upon itself almost before you fully notice.

Just keep taking daily steps to care for and nurture yourself, and when Imposter Syndrome does get out of hand, hopefully some of these ideas will help you.

Or shoot me an email if you need someone to talk to about it. Trust me, I know it can feel weird trying to have these conversations, so if you need to let it all out from the safety of your inbox, I’m here for you.

Until next time, friends

I’m out

#entrepreneurs #impostersyndrome #mindsethabits #mindsettips

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