Unleash Your Inner Dialogue with Self-Talk Scripts

chalk board sign with an apple and the words " Be aware of your thoughts"
animation of human head demonstrating positive and negative talk

The hallmark of someone with Impostor Syndrome is how they define their own competence. Valerie Young, author of “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of it” describes some common distorted views of competence and how your own unrealistic standards cause you to judge yourself as less intelligent than you really are.

The solution is to rethink the thoughts that got you there. Create a new dialogue that challenges that inner critic that tries to steal your self-assurance. Here are some sample scripts to rethink your impostor thoughts.

Distorted thought #1: “If it’s too hard for me, it must mean I’m not smart enough to do it.”

Revised thoughts:

1.            “Facing challenges is how I grow and learn.”

2.            “Intelligence is not fixed; it is developed through effort and perseverance.”

3.            “Everyone faces challenges.”



Distorted thought #2: “If I’m really competent, I shouldn’t need to ask for help.”

Revised thoughts:

1.            “Seeking help is strength, not weakness, showing my willingness to learn and grow.”

2.            “Even the most successful people rely on others for help. Nobody achieves success alone.

3.            “Collaboration cultivates community!”

4.            “Certainly there are skilled people who could do this quicker and better than me! I shall find them!”



Distorted thought #3: “If I don’t perform perfectly, then I am a failure.”

1.            “Perfection is impossible. Progress and effort are way more important.”

2.            “I’m allowed an off day occasionally. Tomorrow will be better.”

3.            “Imperfections are part of being human, and they don’t define my worth.”



Distorted thought #4: “I cannot start the project until I have thoroughly researched every aspect of it.”

Revised thoughts:

1.            “Getting started is the first step. Even though I’ve never done this before, I’m confident I can figure it out.”

2.            “Yes, research is essential, but sometimes starting the project will provide valuable insights I wouldn’t have gained otherwise. I don’t know what I don’t know.”

3.            “Saying ‘I don’t know’ is not a character flaw, but a tremendous show of admirable humility.”



Distorted Thought #5: “I must be able to juggle multiple roles simultaneously and perfectly.”

Revised thoughts:

1.            “It’s okay and healthy to prioritize and focus on one role at a time.”

2.            “Nobody can excel at everything.”

4.            “I challenge the belief that multi-task perfection equals success, and instead, I will celebrate the effort and progress I make in each role.”



Overcoming the stubborn thoughts that have led to experiencing impostor syndrome is not a once and done effort. It takes daily, diligent and directed effort. Scripts work! Retrain your brain to think better thoughts, make better choices and have better outcomes.  When you reset your mindset with positive inner dialogue, you change the trajectory of your success to go from doubt to dynamo!

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