35 Useful Phrases to Combat Imposter Syndrome as Soon as It Strikes, According to a Psychoanalyst

Words like "genuine" and "authentic" are buzzy. But even if you use them or try to embody them, you may feel like you're faking it. These feelings can bring on imposter syndrome, which can impact your career, parenting, relationships, life choices and more. Wondering how to overcome imposter syndrome? We have 35 simple phrases to help with this all-encompassing feeling as soon as it strikes.

"[Imposter syndrome] is a feeling that you’re not real—that people don't know the real you, and that you don't belong where you are," says Claudia Luiz, Psya.D., a psychoanalyst.

It's as if you're wearing a mask—and not the N-95 kind from the pandemic. Luiz says that she believes there's a common culprit.

"From the perspective of psychoanalysis, it comes from having parts of yourself that are unintegrated," Dr. Luiz says. "Unintegrated parts of ourselves get fragmented out of our consciousness because they are unwanted or don’t serve us. These unwanted parts may include shame, anger, insecurity, vulnerability, sadness and more. When we can’t integrate all aspects of our emotional life, we don’t show up with our full self and feel like imposters."

In other words, you may cry yourself to sleep every night but show up and nail a project at work. Do you deserve it? No, you may think—a risk of imposter syndrome.

"Imposter syndrome is harmful because it undermines our achievements and promotes insecurity, making it hard to both continue with our good work, as well as derive the deserved pleasure and satisfaction from what we have achieved and what we deserve," Dr. Luiz explains.

Related: Do You Constantly Feel Like a Fraud? You May Have Imposter Syndrome—Here’s Everything You Need To Know

How To Overcome Imposter Syndrome: 35 Phrases To Use

Ready to ditch imposter syndrome? Try self-talking yourself out of it. Dr. Luiz shared 35 statements to use if you're experiencing imposter syndrome in relationships, work and other common situations.

Imposter Syndrome Phrases That Work Any Time

1. There are parts of myself that I am not comfortable with yet.

2. I am committed to learning what I can’t accept in myself yet and working on it.

3. I am allowed to have privacy and aspects of myself that nobody has to know about.

4. Just because there are things about myself I can’t bring to the table doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to offer.

Why these statements work: Dr. Luiz emphasizes that imposter syndrome stems from a person feeling bad about hiding parts of themselves, such as preferring Netflix to happy hour, despite being told by a friend they're super-cool. "Imposter syndrome dissolves when you understand you are keeping parts of yourself private," Dr. Luiz says. "It’s OK to have a private part of yourself that doesn’t like people, feels like they don’t belong or is scared.” In other words, when you accept yourself as a full person with a range of emotions, you don't have to feel bad for enjoying a compliment.

Related: 16 Things People With High Emotional Intelligence Often Say, According to Psychologists

Imposter Syndrome Phrases for Romantic Relationships

1. I will work to bring my anger to the relationship.

2. I will work to bring my vulnerability to the relationship.

3. I will work to bring my insecurity to the relationship.

4. I will work to bring my disappointment to the relationship.

5. I will work to bring my shame to the relationship.·

6. I will work to bring my real self to the relationship.·

7. I will work to bring my fear to the relationship.·It’s OK to be scared because I have been hurt previously.

Why these statements work: You may be hiding some pieces of yourself from a significant other, causing you to feel guilty and like you don't deserve to be happy. But you do and, in time, you can reveal more about yourself. "Assuring yourself that you can bring an integrated self to the relationship eventually lets you know that just because you can’t do it yet doesn’t mean you’re an imposter," Dr. Luiz says. "It means that you are going slow, and that’s OK."

Related: Self-Gaslighting: What It Is and How To Stop It

Imposter Syndrome Statements When Trying Something New

1. I can be like a sociologist, getting to know the culture of this club.

2. I don’t have to feel like I belong to this new club of <insert hobby or group, such as musicians, runners or actors> to participate.

3. I am welcome to be a part of something even before I’m good at it.

4. I am welcome everywhere.

5. I will not allow my fears and insecurities to stand in my way of growth and opportunity.

6. I don’t need to be great at something to enjoy it.

7. I have permission to try something new.

8. Once upon a time, I was new at <insert something, like writing or walking>.

9. Anything that takes courage means you’re growing.

10. It’s OK for other people to be smart and talented. I belong here too.

11. By celebrating someone else’s strengths, I can empower myself.

Why these phrases work: You signed up for your first 5K after spending winter on the couch. The confirmation email calls you an "athlete." You may scoff at it or any suggestion you're a "runner." But you are—or can be. "These statements are designed to help you accept the feelings that come with imposter syndrome," Dr. Luiz says. "You can be like a tourist in a new country...you're welcome to get to know the landscape.“ Further, Dr. Luiz says recognizing and celebrating someone else's strengths—even if it means they finish ahead of you in a race or get a promotion first—rather than spiraling into negative self-talk can be empowering.

Related: No Degree, No Problem! Here Are 30 High-Paying Jobs That Don't Require a Degree

Imposter Syndrome Statements When Parenting

1. Every new parent feels like an imposter.

2. The shift in identity takes time.

3. It’s scary being responsible for another human being.

4. It’s natural to feel inept at parenting. They don’t come with owner’s manuals.

5. My child loves me no matter what.

6. Learning how to parent is the hardest thing in the world and never will the stakes feel so high.

Why these statements work: Parenting can feel so vulnerable. There's so much external pressure on sleep, feeding, screen time and more. And you love your child so much and don't want to let them down. You may be a bigger critic to yourself than user415690 on Instagram telling you that Paw Patrol is ruining your child. But these feelings are valid—a statement you may mention to your little one and deserve to hear too. "These statements are designed to help parents integrate the unwanted parts of themselves into the parenting equation, including fear, frustration, insecurity and being daunted," Dr. Luiz says. "The more these parts get integrated into the natural experience of parenting, the more the imposter syndrome dissolves naturally."

Related: 75 Funniest Parenting Tweets

Imposter Syndrome Statements When Dealing With a Difficult Boss or Colleague

1. When people don’t believe in us, it’s an affront to our dignity and integrity.

2. People who doubt us [spark] self-doubt.

3. Just because someone doesn’t believe in me does not mean I don’t have to believe in myself.

4. I need support to remember who and what I am and what I can do.

5. This is not about me. I can’t personalize this.

6. In time, this will change if I keep working hard and ignoring the rest.

7. I don’t have to let someone else get to me. I don’t have to buy into this.

Why these statements work: Work takes up so much of our lives. Dr. Luiz knows that it hurts when someone doubts us, particularly if we're already doubting ourselves, and exacerbates imposter syndrome. "In the end, you were hired to do the work, and it’s all that matters," Dr. Luiz says. These phrases are designed to help you remember that.

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