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How I Deal With Scary Imposter Syndrome In My 30s

I saw a shirt recently that said “Just a kid trying to survive adulthood.” I can’t explain the amount of relief I felt when I saw that shirt because I felt seen. The amount of imposter syndrome is unreal!

Now I don’t truly see myself as a kid, but this adulthood thing isn’t for the weak. We are all trying to survive, the confirmation I needed was right there on that shirt.

One of the biggest insecurities I have been having in my adulthood is feeling like an imposter. It’s one of the reasons why I was so scared to turn 30, because I didn’t feel ready, or “adult” enough.

Today I’m sharing what I struggle feeling like an imposter with. Maybe you’ll have the same ones? Then I’ll show you how I’m dealing with those feelings of imposter syndrome.

imposter syndrome struggles

What Is Imposter Syndrome

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines imposter syndrome as, “a psychological condition that is characterized by persistent doubt concerning one’s abilities or accomplishments accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evidence of one’s ongoing success.”

In my experience it can range from light feelings of feeling out of place to crippling anxiety about the trajectory of my life. It all depends on how my mental health is in the situation.

What Makes Me Feel Like An Imposter

There are three main areas of my life that I feel imposter syndrome the most in, especially now that I’m in my 30s.

My lack of big milestones

I haven’t done the major things that people around my age have done. Things like moving out of my family home, getting married, and having a great job still await me.

However I’ve had some cool things happen in my life. For example, releasing products, going for a dream of mine, etc., but my mind says it’s not enough.

My lack of work experience

Like I mentioned above, I am not a job that I would consider great right now. I thought I knew what career field I belonged in, but since it’s been so long since being in it, I don’t know what I want anymore.

I feel like I’m in the same mindset I was in at the start of my twenties. Despite getting promotions in the jobs I’ve had and seeking leadership opportunities in the jobs I am getting, I’m still unfulfilled because I know it’s not what I want to do long-term.

finding a way to fit in when out of place

My lack of life experience

The last thing that makes the imposter syndrome creep into my mind is when I hear people talking about how exciting their life is. Whether they are going on vacations, always at a concert, or something else like that, it’s hard to hear sometimes.

It’s not that I don’t want to hear about it, or that I’m not happy that they are happy. My issue is that I can’t contribute to the conversation with my own life stories.

I haven’t had much excitement over the years so it’s hard to feel included when those types of conversations pop up. Except when I think about it there have been some fun things I’ve gotten to do, but since I want to do so much more they get overshadowed.

How I Deal With Imposter Syndrome In My 30s

Here are seven mindsets/exercises that I use whenever I start to feel the imposter syndrome start to creep up. 

Don’t Bottle It Up

The first piece of advice I have for dealing with imposter syndrome is to not bottle your feelings up and ignore them. While it’s uncomfortable, it’s important to feel your feelings. Only then can you get to the root of why you feel that way.

Think Of The Positive

Something else that is helpful when imposter syndrome shows up is to think of the positives in your life. The imposter syndrome will try to get you to focus on what you’re not. By focusing on the positive you are essentially blocking the negative out.

Practice Gratitude

Gratitude can be helpful for so many things, including beating imposter syndrome. Similar to the previous point, when you focus on gratitude you leave no room in your mind for the negative. 

For example, say you are out to lunch with your friends and you are the only single person there. Imposter syndrome will have you feeling discouraged and down about your relationship status. In that moment you can think about things you are grateful for.

Gratitude in that moment could look like recognizing you are able to do whatever you want without clearing it with someone. It is having extra time to spend on things you enjoy, and you can even be grateful for the dating process. 

Give Yourself Space

If the imposter syndrome gets to be too much, maybe it’s best to give yourself some space from whatever is making you feel that way. Creating boundaries around yourself means allowing yourself to be whole and at peace.

Whether that’s unfollowing certain accounts on social media, taking a break from social media, or something else. Figure out what you can do to create some distance between you and what’s causing those feelings.

Figure Out How To Move Forward

Is there something that you can do to shift the situation that’s making you feel imposter syndrome? Maybe there is an action you could take or mindset you can develop that will help you feel more confident in the situation. 

One example I’m currently working on is with my career. I’m currently trying to figure out what my career goals are and look for new opportunities. Putting in the effort is making the imposter syndrome slowly go away when the subject of work comes up at networking events or friend outings.

Talk It Out With Others

You’ll be surprised how many people are also dealing with imposter syndrome. It’s something we don’t like to talk about, but we all feel it at some point. Opening up about it and sharing your struggles will help you relate to others, and feel a little less alone in this thing called life.

dealing with imposter syndrome

Move Past It

If you’ve done all of the tips above, the last thing to do is just move past the imposter syndrome. It’s hard at first, but once you accept how you feel, take steps to think more positively.

Figure out if there is something you can do to improve, and then talk it out, you’ll feel a lot better. You’ll be able to acknowledge imposter syndrome for what it is, but not let it drag you down. You’ll be able to move past it.

Final Thoughts on Imposter Syndrome

If you have those feelings of imposter syndrome come up I want you to know that you are not alone. I hope the tips shared here today can help you gain a new perspective on what you are feeling.

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