|Take a moment to consider the last time you felt motivated. Perhaps you felt an overwhelming sense of drive and determination as your creativity meter went into high gear, allowing you to accomplish a lot of work in a short period of time, leaving you feeling great about yourself and your accomplishments. Yet the next day, you end up feeling stagnant and unmotivated in your work.
What causes us to have these spikes in motivated energy to accomplish tasks and reach our goals at times, yet in other moments, flounder through periods of procrastination and inactivity? The truth is, there may be many reasons for these changes in motivation, but one very powerful barrier to reaching our goals can be what’s known as imposter syndrome.
According to Scientific America, imposter syndrome relates to ‘a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary’. This feeling can impact anyone, even those individuals you would assume, from the outside, have it all together such as esteemed college professors, highly regarded scientists and scholars, even world leaders who are in charge of enormously important decisions.
Imposter syndrome can have you feeling as though all of your knowledge, training, experience and passion are just not enough or that your efforts will lead to failure, even though you may have tons of success to reflect on. Since this experience can be crippling and an obstacle in the way of achieving our goals and dreams, how do we push past this feeling of inadequacy?
Let’s explore 3 ways of beating imposter syndrome & maintaining motivation:
1. Recognize and acknowledge this feeling.
The next time you feel stuck on a project and notice that you have been staring at a blank word document for the past 10 minutes, take a step back... literally. Stand up. Shake out your arms. And look inward.
What are the thoughts and feelings coming to your mind right now? Notice your self-talk. If you hear yourself saying ‘you’re not good enough’ or ‘what’s the point, this project won’t amount to anything’, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome right now!
After recognizing this negative self-talk and that you’re in the throes of feeling like an imposter, acknowledge this experience. Say it out loud, write it down, record yourself on your phone. Externalize this acknowledgement away from your inner thoughts so that this experience is no longer allowed to park itself inside your mind.
Notice how you’re feeling now. Hopefully you have a sense of relief after releasing these negative thoughts about yourself, and are now able to have room to fill yourself with positivity and inspiration moving forward.
Related: Free Goal Planner With Action Steps
2. Create a positive environment to work in.
Now that we have the internal space to build a positive mindset, let’s work on our external environment and ensure this space is prepared for us to be as creative as possible. Everyone works well in different environments, so it’s important to ask yourself what works best for you, but here are some suggestions at creating a positive environment to work in:
Take the time to take a look around your environment and get rid of anything that is causing you to stall in your work. For example, if you share your workspace with your personal space, make sure the bills that need to be paid or pile of laundry that needs folding is set aside or out of sight, so that you don’t feel tempted to work on these when you sit down to focus on your work. This can help to separate your work life and your personal life, creating the perfect conditions for you to get things done.
Read: Master Your Productivity in 3 Simple Steps
3. Work on one task at a time.
Now that you have both an inner and outer positive space to work from, let’s get down to business. It can often feel overwhelming to think solely about the end goal and this can cause that imposter syndrome to come up within you and starve off your motivation. It’s great to have this end goal in mind, but for the moment, make sure you write that down and put it out of sight.
For now, consider the action steps you need to take in order to reach this end goal. Figuring out these action steps can take many forms, such as creating a mindmap of ideas or free-writing your thoughts and choosing the main ideas from the outcome.
Once you have your action steps in place, make sure you are working on one task at a time. It can be very tempting to multi-task, especially if the third task overlaps with the first, but this can slow down you process and cause you to feel erratic in your process. Instead, find a sticky note and write FOCUS ON ONE TASK or something similar, and place it in a strategic place as a reminder that it’s okay to focus on one action step at a time.
In order to increase your focus even more, consider using some productivity tools such as TomatoTimer or FocusMe.
Follow these three steps to help you break through that imposter syndrome and create a positive work environment to flourish from so that you can set up your action plan and maintain the motivation you need to finally get things done.
Recommended: 10 Steps to Feel Motivated & Get Stuff Done eBook
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