• Wellness

#SoITriedIt: Smart Ways to Deal With Impostor Syndrome

Nov 14, 2022 by Karess Rubrico

3 min read

AB__#SoITriedIt_ What I Did To Deal With My Impostor Syndrome _

As a true crime fan, I enjoy stories about fraudsters–how they wreaked havoc on their victims’ psyches and wallets and how these crooks were outsmarted. I marveled at how they faked their way through life and felt a sense of victory when the law caught up with them later.

Impostor syndrome is lying to you. Here’s how to replace lies with truth!

I’m no fraudster, but once upon a time, I felt like I was. And I was afraid that one day, I’d be exposed.

I discovered that I was going through a phenomenon called “impostor syndrome.” So I took specific steps to overcome it so I could be at my best every day. Here’s how I went through it and how you can silence your inner saboteur.

Impostor syndrome 

Faking it ‘till you make it?

Impostor syndrome happens to people who are “unable to internalize and accept their success.” Instead of giving themselves credit for their skills and abilities, they attribute their accomplishments to sheer luck, with the irrational fear of being “found out.” It wasn’t necessarily tied to depression, anxiety, or one’s self-esteem, but it is a valid occurrence that can happen to anyone.

A TED talk on the subject described imposterism as “having a crappy best friend who says mean things about you.” If left unchecked, impostor syndrome could lead to “stalled projects, unfinished masterpieces, and an unhappy life.”

I certainly felt that way. Working in corporate for over ten years, I was compelled to prove myself worthy. I also felt that all my output needed to be flawless. I believed that none of my professional experience mattered–and that bosses only “settled for me.”

When I started freelancing over a year ago, the toxic thoughts were amplified, and it inevitably affected my output. I thought trying harder would make them go away. Work became a survival-of-the-fittest situation, driven by fear and self-doubt.

If I wasn’t trying harder, I’d swing to the opposite extreme: I was not trying at all, procrastinating badly and losing all semblance of productivity, spiraling towards overwhelm and an insurmountable backlog.


Step by step

It took an intervention to get me out of my fog. One of my clients first noticed my struggle during a feedback session. “You’re not an impostor,” she said, “But you need to find yourself.”

So find myself I did. I educated myself on the subject, learning all I could from watching videos on impostor syndrome. I was shocked to discover that the great author Maya Angelou went through it herself. It gave me a sense of comfort, knowing that I wasn’t alone.

Maya Angelou 

From TED Official Website

I also intentionally connected with experts. Through separate video call sessions with a career coach, a positive psychologist, and a mental health counselor (hiccup-free, thanks to my home WiFi connection), I learned why I was beating myself up, coupled with personalized action steps to overcome impostor syndrome. Being vulnerable was daunting at first, but I had to confront these issues head-on.

One of my biggest takeaways from these sessions was having compassion for myself, so I ramped up my self-care. If my inner saboteur was acting up, I would do breathing exercises or journaling. While I still could be hard on myself at times, I’ve grown to learn from my mistakes and give myself more credit. I also overcame my independent streak (one of the manifestations of my imposterism) by asking for help, especially when I needed clarification on my projects.

Young woman doing breathing exercises 

Practicing these good habits yielded fruit. My critical inner voice was replaced by a more balanced “cheerleader.” Learning to distinguish between excellence from perfection was also a huge step in achieving that perspective. Knowing that I did my best, even if it wasn’t flawless, paved the way for greater energy and enthusiasm. Eventually, work no longer became a cutthroat game of surviving but an avenue for thriving.


Impostor no more

Impostor syndrome is one of the ways that your brain lies to you–and you, too, can break free from it, so you can succeed at work and in life!

Thanks to technology, we now have greater access to wholistic health and wellness. mWell offers 24/7 telemedicine consults for you and your family, providing specialized care from the comfort of home. Learn more at the official mWell website.



This article is part of our social experiment on nextupgrade.ph. We call it: "So I Tried It" (stylized via hashtag as #SoITriedIt).

#SoITriedIt is a special series featuring the personal experiences of the Next Upgrade Editorial Team as we embrace the smart home lifestyle ourselves. As we take that first step to do things better and smarter, we hope we will inspire all of you to jumpstart your smart home journey.


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