By Bayside Group

Mar 5, 2019

How to get over imposter syndrome

Do you ever get worried that you don’t have the skills to do your job? Do you sometimes sit in meetings and worry that others may think that you don’t really know what you’re talking about? These insecurities or self-doubt are also known as imposter syndrome.


What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome can be feelings of doubt, insecurity or anxiety that you have about yourself and your performance. Even though you have the skills and experience to do your job, negative self-talk can plague even the most accomplished of people. It can make you feel like a fraud or an imposter who’s just waiting to be found out. This can be incredibly hard to shake and, in extreme situations, can be quite debilitating.


How to deal with imposter syndrome?

If you think you do have imposter syndrome, the good news is that there are some things you can do to help you overcome it. The first step is being aware that you have a problem. Once you’re able to acknowledge the issue, you can start to take positive steps to address it. 

Many of these involve finding ways to remind yourself of what you’ve achieved and building confidence in yourself. You can do this by:

  • Writing a list of some of your key accomplishments. This will help you look objectively at your achievements and accept that you’ve played a significant role in your success.
  • Ask people who’ve worked with you to tell you about your greatest strengths. While you shouldn’t look for validation from others, others often see things in you that you may miss.
  • Embrace your authenticity. You’re unique, which means you can’t be an imposter. So write down some of the things about you that are unique and enjoy them.
  • When you get a win, celebrate it proudly.

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Other things that you can do involve trying to control how you think about yourself. This may include:

  • Trying to stop comparing what you’ve achieved against other people. It’s never possible to know someone else’s entire journey, but it’s most likely that it’s been different to yours. This means it’s never really possible to compare their experiences or achievements with your own.
  • We’re all wrong sometimes, but being wrong doesn’t mean that you’re less competent or a fraud. It just means you’re human. So the next time you make a mistake, remind yourself that everyone does sometimes take it onboard as a learning experience.
  • Listen to yourself and hear what kind of language you use. If you’re self-deprecating in meetings or underplay your accomplishments, think about how you can reframe what you say in a positive or affirming way.

These tips can help you start to accept and deal with your issue. It may not be easy but you can take heart that you’re not alone. Imposter syndrome can affect anyone including CEOs, surgeons and athletes – even Albert Einstein struggled with imposter syndrome.

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