Your Ultimate Guide to Beating Imposter Syndrome

Ashley Renee
4 min readNov 5, 2020


Stop playing it safe, and just play.

Courtesy of Unsplash

Oh, imposter syndrome. You’re the worst. Entrepreneurs, parents, creatives — heck, everyone runs into this monster of a lie that makes us feel like we’re frauds.

A few weeks ago, I was in the middle of an imposter syndrome episode and as I attempted to give myself a pep talk, this phrase slipped out:

“Stop playing it safe, and just play.”

This is a new philosophy that I remind myself when imposter syndrome strikes, and you should, too.

Here’s why:

That voice — that nasty, unsupportive and abusive voice? It’s not you. It’s your conditioning. It’s what was fed to you for years and conditioned you to play it safe… or else.

And while it is trying to protect you by convincing you that it is safer to not explore new territory, it’s also keeping you from seeing what’s beyond the surface — and there is so much to see beyond what you already know.

So how do you beat Imposter Syndrome? You interrogate the hell out of it.

Questions to Guide You Out of Imposter Syndrome:

  • Am I really on this planet to live in fear?

You know the answer to this is no. No further explanation is needed. Next!

  • Would I say this to a friend or a loved one?

You would never gaslight a friend or a loved one in the way you’re gaslighting yourself. Wouldn’t you tell them to “just try and see what happens”? You would never stop a friend or a loved one from trying something new or going for an opportunity. So, why are you doing it to yourself?

  • If not you, then who?

First, if you don’t do it, someone else will, and you’ll have to live with multiple opportunities passing you by because you succumbed to limiting beliefs about yourself.

Second, if you don’t think the present you can apply for that job or publish that Medium article, what version of you could? Can you embody the version of you that would do these things? What does that look, sound or feel like?

  • Is your fear coming from a rational place or past experiences?

The fears that are drawn up are often from past experiences. Your mind and nervous system start to believe that you are or will experience similar outcomes if you go against the safer option. Maybe someone once told you that your attention span is too short to assume a leadership position, or your voice is too nasally for public speaking. You’re too this…not enough of that… so on and so forth.

If you can literally hear these limiting judgments in your head upon making a decision, that is a clear indication that your fear is coming from a past experience. Refer back to the first question. Are you really here to stay stuck under the thumb of demons from your past? The answer is still, no!

The goal here is to unlearn the part of you that is scared of the world and others. The end goal is to return to the child who was curious, eager to fly and always asking questions.

You’re moving from playing it safe, to just playing.

Never forget this: the only obstacle in front of you is your ego — the conditioned version of yourself which stands in the way of the authentic version of you in your full power.

We overcome imposter syndrome in the similar way we heal trauma: one, small step at a time.

At a recent international conference — The Embodiment Conference — Dr. Peter Levine, the developer of Somatic Experiencing, defined trauma as “a breach in the protective barrier against overstimulation, leading to feelings of overwhelming helplessness.”

He stressed that the key to releasing stuck energy induced by trauma is to do it one, small amount at a time. Otherwise, you run the risk of retraumatizing yourself.

Look, a little uncertainty from time to time is not unhealthy — we should never be completely certain about things; we’d lose our humility that way.

However, if you are certain that you don’t deserve something or you’re not worthy of something when you are qualified or can at least learn whatever you’re attempting, this is a red flag.

Beating imposter syndrome requires challenging yourself every day to face a small fear. Ask yourself the questions above to guide you.

As you move through these fears, congratulate yourself, because you’re learning that things are not as scary as they seem.



Ashley Renee

Creative writer | Lover of words, wellness and the arts