21/04/2024

How To Conquer Imposter Syndrome? 10 Proven Steps to Regain Self-Confidence and Power

Is an imposter syndrome poisoning your life? No worries, you are not alone. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 75% of people have experienced imposter syndrome at work.

Meet your team members Marc, Lisa, Peter and Eva. They all work for a big company, holding new, ambitious jobs that are difficult to describe to industry outsiders (not to mention their parents’ generation!). They all perform outstandingly, getting tangible results and accolades for their work.

Meanwhile, a hidden dialogue is ongoing in their heads, invisible to the external world.

Lisa: “I am not good enough for this job”.

Marc: “I need to work harder to deserve a promotion”.

Peter: “I cannot ask for a higher salary; the others are performing much better than me”.

Eva: “If I will be perfect in everything I do, everyone will respect me”.

And so on.

During a high-stakes presentation, their anxiety peaks. As they stand before a room of industry experts, doubts flood their minds. What if they stumble over their words? What if someone asks a question they cannot answer? If you could hear what’s going on in the minds of your colleagues (or even bosses you admire for achievements), you would be surprised.

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 75% of people have experienced imposter syndrome at work.

You Are Not Alone

Imposter syndrome is a common experience where we doubt ourselves and fear being exposed as “fraud” despite evidence of our competence. It often remains hidden, impacting employees’ mental well-being and hindering their professional growth.

HOW CAN iMPOSTER SYNDROME AFFECT YOU? 

Mental Health: The constant stress of feeling like a fraud can affect your mental well-being. You may struggle with anxiety and depression or even end up with burnout.

Work Relations: Imposter syndrome can also affect your work relations. When you are preoccupied with self-doubt, you may hesitate to voice your ideas or contribute fully to team efforts.

Career Progression: Imposter syndrome can impede your career advancement. You may refrain from pursuing opportunities for growth, such as promotions or challenging projects, for fear of failure or exposure.

 

10 steps To Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Overcoming imposter syndrome takes time, but here you have some tips to get rid of it:

Open up

Share your feelings with trusted friends, family members, mentors, therapists, or a coach. Normalising your feelings can help you recognise that you are not the only one experiencing self-doubt (remember, 75% of the population). You can gain perspective and receive support and encouragement.

What About Your Strengths?

List your skills, abilities and strengths. List everything that comes to your mind. Remember all the situations in which you used your strengths and got things done successfully.

Raise your self-awareness

What is essential for you? What are your values in life? What is so precious that you wouldn’t give up for any price? When you return to your foundation, the sky is clearing, and your self-esteem grows.

Are you really a fraud?

Is this, what you think, a fact, or is it just the voice of your inner severe critic? If it’s the latter, you have the power to change it. Reframe your judgmental thoughts, remind yourself of your past successes and the skills you’ve developed along the way, and recall the positive feedback you’ve received from others.

Repetition makes perfect

See your mistakes as part of the learning process (no matter your age or position) rather than evidence of incompetence. No one is born with knowledge and experience. We all learn from our setbacks.

Find your booster

List and practise everything that boosts your confidence and reassures your abilities, e.g. by providing support to others, solving problems, or replying to questions in your areas of expertise. Find your unique, best-coping way and use it as a weapon whenever you start doubting your abilities.

Chunk an elephant (can you eat it all in one go?):

Break an overwhelming project into smaller, achievable tasks. Focus on making progress rather than striving for perfection.

Yes, yes, yes!

Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, along the way. Praise yourself for a job well done because you deserve it.

Be kind to yourself

Treat yourself with the same kindness and comprehension you would offer to a friend facing similar struggles. Remember that nobody is perfect, and it’s okay to make mistakes.

Professional Help?

If imposter syndrome significantly impacts your mental well-being or interferes with your ability to function, consider seeking support from a therapist or coach. They can help you explore underlying issues and develop coping strategies.

JOURNEY, NOT DESTINATION

Remember that overcoming imposter syndrome is a journey, and setbacks may happen. With a bit of patience, self-awareness, and support, you can learn to embrace your worth and confidently pursue your career. You are capable, deserving, and worthy of success. Learn to trust yourself, and the rest will follow.

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