7 Creative Ways To Deal With The Fear That You’re Not Good Enough

Imposter syndrome, man. It’s that little voice that tenses your shoulders, causes knots in your belly, and tells you that you’re not good enough. “You’re a fraud,” it says, “you don’t know what you’re doing, and pretty soon everyone at work or school is going to see you for the fake that you are.”

Credit: ABC

“Latinas Think Big,” a site devoted to Latina empowerment, breaks down possible reasons why imposter syndrome impacts us in a particularly big way:

With rare exception, Latinas are often cast in less than leading roles—we apparently make credible maids, cooks, secretaries, baby sitters or nannies. No doubt, all of those are noble jobs that have fed countless  families and put children through school. But think back on the number of times a Latina has played the role of a successful lawyer, engineer, CEO or therapist in film or television. Can’t think of many, right? As a consequence, those of us who are in those roles often have that unique burden of proving that indeed we are legitimate players in those settings. It’s no surprise– Latinas have two career challenges: Doing the hard work that your professional duties require and keeping the assumptions others make of us in check.

So how can you combat it? Here are some tips:

1. Be your own Kanye.

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It’s SO easy to focus on the negative. A bad comment tends to stick with us longer than compliments.  Counteract this by being more like Kanye: 

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Dude is his own best cheering squad. And the trick is, you don’t even have to be confident to practice being confident. Just using more positive language about yourself to yourself can lift you up. Talk the talk, and eventually you’ll believe it.

Here’s how to start: Keep track of your successes. Plop ’em into the “Notes” section on your phone or keep a running tab on your calendar. That meeting you led flawlessly? That essay everyone loved? That was all you, bb. Revel in it.

2. Sweep the sh*t away.

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It can be tempting to focus so much on all the (figurative, mostly) sh*t on your path that you forget to focus on the path itself. You become caught up in the little mistakes, mishaps and missteps that you begin forgetting your bigger goal. When you have a specific goal and purpose — whether it’s giving a presentation without being nervous or earning a big promotion — it’s easier to not sweat the small setbacks in the grand scheme of things. So stop focusing on the sh*t. Wipe your feet and keep going. (Again, figuratively. I hope.)

3. Be jealous. For real.

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Jealousy can actually be a super useful emotion if approached in the right way. It reveals what we want, and we can work on ourselves accordingly. Are you jealous of someone else’s writing or people skills? Awesome. Now you know that are things about yourself that you should focus on the most. Let the things you’re jealous of and the people you view as competition lead you to becoming the best version of YOU.

4. Look to a mentor who isn’t a cheerleader.

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The academic and professional worlds are daunting enough even if you’re not dealing with feeling like you don’t belong. Having someone who’s been through it all to guide you makes it a little easier. And know that a mentor isn’t there to cheer you up or cheer you on: They’re teaching you and making you better by pointing out your mistakes and how you can improve upon them. If imposter syndrome tells you that you don’t belong because you’re not good enough, a tough mentor will let you know that you’re good enough to invest their time in. Put another way: You’re good enough now to become great later.

How do you get one? Start asking questions to someone at work you admire — specific questions on how you could improve, and see whether a rapport is formed. You can also sign up for mentors through your college, or through a variety of organizations.

5. Cultivate a support group. (And bring wine.)

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You don’t have to deal with this alone and, in fact, you shouldn’t. Beyond a mentor, look to others who are in a similar boat and at the same level. They don’t even have to work with you or even be in the same industry, although that certainly helps. Get together with friends for some healthy (limited) venting or a celebratory night out (with wine, lots of it) to mark your successes. These are the people who’ll be around when you need someone else to help counteract that negative voice in your head. Sign up for networking groups through your school or city, or make sure to have lunch with your coworkers instead of eating it alone at your desk.

6. Be supportive.

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Just as you need support from others, others will need it from you. Giving other people a pep talk helps build up stronger ties, and it can also help clarify things for yourself. We tend to be harder on ourselves than we are on other people, so helping others work through their issues in a gentle, constructive way can actually provide you with template on how to talk to yourself.

7. Take a damn break!


Create balance in your life so that work and/or school don’t take up all of your mental and emotional energy. Slow down and enjoy your meals. Take a stroll during your lunch break. Savor your free time. Read a book you really love. Meditate before getting out of bed, or right before you sleep. Or just allow yourself the time, even just an hour, to veg out and watch Netflix with some gummy bears. Doing small things just for you will make you a healthier, happier person who is better able to deal with stress.

And remember:

You got this!

READ: These Latinos are Cashing in on Their Insta-Success

Have you felt “less than” at work? What tips do you have for combatting that feeling?

Let's Be Real, When Neymar Dives In A Fútbol Game, It's A Work Of Art


Let’s Be Real, When Neymar Dives In A Fútbol Game, It’s A Work Of Art

Fútbol, or soccer, is as much a team sport as it is an expression of the individual. I dare say it’s a form of art. And within the big picture of wins and losses and high scoring, there’s an element to the game that is one of the highest forms of art: the dive. Every player dives, but not every player truly captures the essence of the dive. Here now, let’s look at a few examples of the greatest flop artist the sport has known!

Luis Suárez

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This is Luis Suárez’s brilliant postmodern example of a flop, demonstrating the fleeting nature of pain. One moment you are knocked in a complete 360-degree tumble, the next you’re up and sprinting towards victory. While most would retire after a traumatic close call like this, Luis shows us pain is ephemeral. Bravo!

Alexis Sánchez

Credit: Watch Actual Football Dives Here / YouTube

Here we see a man who has spent years as a professional player, paid handsomely to run around like a competent adult. And yet, in spite of his years of his experience, he still succumbs to toddler-style stumbles. This flop reveals on a complex and artistic level the fact that no one ever truly masters their craft. Good show!


Credit: Who Ate All The Pies / Univision

Here we see a young artist at the top of his game. Most people choose to flop downwards in compliance with the laws of physics. Neymar is not most people. Notice how he exploits gravity’s weakness, choosing to explode with an upwards thrust, as if commenting on what a “dive” actually is. Truly a visionary!

James Rodríguez

Credit: Univision Deportes / Giphy

This clip exhibits the elegance of a straightforward flop. Stripped of its theatrics, Rodríguez comments on how simplicity in and of itself is an often under-appreciated art form. Let the stumble speak for itself. These qualities are the true hallmarks of the genius!

Arturo Vidal

Credit: Super GP / YouTube

In what most critics refer to as Arturo’s Tribal Period, we see the young master fling himself wildly through the air in a style similar to the Vanuatu ritual land diver. Vidal’s technique is both primitive and innovative in that it confuses rivals and baffles referees to the point of success. Breathtaking!

Nicolás Otamendi

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Like the giants of the silent film era, Otamendi knows that exaggeration is a powerful tool of the thespian! Were he not seriously afflicted with talent, one might assume there was something seriously wrong with his weak chin. But only a truly gifted master could make acting like a buffoon with a glass jaw look so raw and vulnerable. Acting!

David Luiz

Credit: Darragh Connolly / YouTube

What would a list be with out the infamous David Luiz. The Banksy of the Futbol world, Luiz’s performance here shows that breaking down the fourth wall is the best way to draw even the most casual viewer into your world. Although there’s definitely contact on the play, Luiz embellishes his agony to get his opponent kicked out of the game. Notice how he gives a knowing wink to the camera at the very end, as if to say, “Don’t worry. I’m in on the joke!” The scoundrel!


Credit: Dat Hair Doe O / YouTube

This young prodigy comes from the school of absurdist diving. Notice there are no wasted moments in his performance. Even after falling to the ground, out of position, he grabs at his back as if the calamity has hurt him so profoundly that his entire body must writhe in agony. Will this young man become the next Neymar? Only time will tell!

The Future Of Diving?

Once the cyborgs take over, they too will see that diving is an art worth preserving. This right here might just be a glimpse into the future of diving.

Read: Meet The Hardcore Mexico Soccer Fan Who You’ve Probably Seen On TV

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