Posted on 2/11/2022 by Charlotte Frank
‘Imposter syndrome’ is a phrase that you may be familiar with, described as an internal, psychological feeling in which the person suffering believes they are not as competent as others. Many people define imposter syndrome as feeling like just that, an imposter, like they’re not good enough, despite any successes they might incur.
Imposter syndrome can be extremely difficult to navigate and can affect people in different ways. Some people that experience imposter syndrome have found that it can fuel motivation and create a hyper fixation on preparation in order not to fail. Whereas others have described imposter syndrome as an overwhelming feeling of anxiety, constantly doubting their worth and finding it difficult to push themselves to achieve further. No matter which way imposter syndrome affects you the premise is the same, to ensure not to let on that you are ‘a fraud’.
It has been proven that imposter syndrome is particularly prevalent in people that are career driven, although the individual may have the drive to push forward in their career, the fear of failing caused by imposter syndrome often holds them back. It is then no surprise that imposter syndrome is one of the biggest deterrents for people going for a promotion, the more successful you become the more likely imposter syndrome is to present itself. Originally imposter syndrome was thought to be mostly felt by high achieving women but has since been recognised as a more widely experienced issue, no matter your background, social status, skill level, gender, or expertise. The worry amongst employers is that as the anxiety worsens it could lead to bouts of depression.
The aim of this blog is to help you or anyone you may know cope with this anxious feeling, by learning the characteristics of someone that may be struggling and the steps you can take to combat this.
Characteristics to look out for:
-An inability to assess your own competence of skills (judging yourself too harshly)
-Not recognising your success asyoursuccess and attributing it to external factors
-Negative thoughts towards yourself or your performance
-Expecting not to live up to people’s expectations
-Pushing yourself too far in order to not feel like a fraud
-Feeling disappointed in yourself for not achieving- even though the goals you have set are far too high
Understanding how these characteristics present themselves in everyday life could help you or anyone else that is struggling with imposter syndrome. Ask yourself:
-Do you fixate on the smallest mistakes?
-Do you brush off your successes?
-Do you have a sensitivity to criticism?
-Do you feel as though you don’t deserve to be in the position you’re in?
-Do you tend to downplay your knowledge or expertise?
If you’re answers above are mostly yes then you could be suffering from imposter syndrome. Below are some ways in which you may help you to combat these feelings.
Dressing in clothing that makes you feel comfortable, still office appropriate but feels more like you is a great way to make you feel confident. Generally, when we wake up, shower, and dress up it tends to make us feel more empowered and ready for the day, even when working from home, it helps to put you in a‘work state of mind’.
2)List of Achievements
Document your achievements every day, note down your accomplishments no matter how small. This is a great way to have a physical copy of your abilities for whenever you doubt yourself.
3)Talk About It
By understanding imposter syndrome and talking about how it makes you feel takes away it’s power, normalises the feeling and stops the stigma surrounding it.
Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and overcoming your fear can help to combat your imposter syndrome. Talking to others will also help, knowing you are not alone in these feelings can be a big help. Being kinder to yourself and practising self-love to empower your mind and prove to yourself that you are worth every success that you achieve. We wish you the best in your career and hope you overcome your anxieties!
To gather information for this blog we used the following sites. If you need further guidance they are great for further reference: