Dealing With Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome

Feeling like an impostor at work is a common feeling, yet fortunately it can be overcome with hard work.

Your core beliefs are at the root of everything, and here are some science-backed strategies that may help.

1. Recognize your feelings.

Imposter syndrome can be devastatingly debilitating; yet even highly successful people like Maya Angelou and Don Cheadle have reported feeling this way. Constant fear of being found out or not being good enough leads to anxiety, low self-esteem and failure fears; this insecurity prevents personal growth by discouraging new challenges or opportunities; relationships may suffer as the individual feels they don’t deserve love or praise from significant others.

If your coworker is struggling with impostor syndrome, it’s essential that they understand their feelings and learn how to control them. First, it may help them increase self-awareness by recognizing situations which trigger it; second, retrain their thoughts by replacing negative self-talk with more optimistic self-talk; lastly, create a list of their achievements – such as completed projects or promotions earned – which serve as evidence that they are indeed competent workers.

Also, they should recognize their strengths and develop confidence-boosting habits such as power posing or positive affirmations. Acknowledging knowledge gaps helps people approach new projects with an open mind without feeling like failure due to not possessing all the information.

Additionally, they should find someone they trust who can provide support and encouragement, whether that be coworker or someone outside their company whom they look up to. Letting someone else in will allow them to understand that their feelings are normal as many others have also gone through something similar at some point in their lives.

Importantly, while occasional self-doubt may be healthy for mental health and wellbeing, persistent imposter syndrome can have serious repercussions for one’s psyche and wellbeing. It creates a cycle of negativity which can lead to anxiety, depression and decreased job satisfaction/burnout. If this situation affects you or a coworker in any way, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance through counseling/therapy/group sessions if required.

2. Talk to someone.

Feelings of “faking it” can cause people to avoid taking risks that will help them grow and excel, as well as avoid relationships that could boost self-confidence. Over time, these feelings of impostor may lead to burnout and loss of energy, ultimately leaving one exhausted.

One way to combat impostor syndrome is talking it over with someone. A mentor or trusted friend can offer support and reassure that their accomplishments are real, as well as bring up any positive feedback they’ve received in the past that validates them as individuals.

People struggling with impostor syndrome tend to brush off compliments and downplay their successes, compounding the feeling of inadequacy further. By training yourself to accept positive feedback more readily, however, you can internalize your achievements more readily – whether that be earning new credentials, publishing papers, or having successful client sessions.” According to Orbe-Austin “acclamating your achievements can retrain your brain to recognize and honor all your talents”.

Impostor syndrome affects everyone regardless of age, gender, or career field; however those from marginalized groups are especially likely to feel this way due to racism, social stigmas and microaggressions.

Imposter syndrome sufferers tend to feel overwhelmed by both work and life commitments, leading to them overworking themselves and overcommitment in both areas. Furthermore, their anxiety or depression levels often increase from dwelling on negative thoughts about themselves as being less than perfect and expecting perfection from themselves and others.

People suffering from imposter syndrome should speak openly with others about their feelings before seeking professional advice about managing symptoms. Mindfulness practices can also help retrain brains to react more rationally when faced with negative thoughts.

Relatives should create a safe space for their loved one’s struggles with impostor syndrome to be discussed safely and supportively, offering validation and encouragement if symptoms worsen, interfering with daily life or becoming severe. Doing this will help them see they aren’t alone and that self-doubts they’re feeling are normal responses.

3. Practice self-compassion.

Feelings of fraudulence can be paralyzing. They prevent us from leaving the safety of our comfort zones and from taking risks that might open up bigger opportunities; ultimately they have negative repercussions for both mental health and well-being.

One effective strategy to counter impostor syndrome is through self-compassion, or the practice of treating yourself warmly and fairly. Self-compassion can be especially useful during times of distress or pain as it helps control negative emotions from spiraling out of control and helps you recover faster. Self-compassion involves recognising when you’re experiencing discomfort and treating yourself kindly rather than criticizing or judging yourself; furthermore it acknowledges that everyone makes mistakes from time to time.

Kristin Neff, an expert in self-compassion, asserts that feelings of fraudulence often originate in fear. You might fear being exposed as a fake and losing credibility or that people around you will realize your true nature as a fraudster. These anxieties can be difficult to shake because they’re not grounded in facts. If impostor syndrome continues to haunt you, reviewing evidence of your success such as praise from your boss or good grades might help. When this voice in your head tells you otherwise.

Imposter syndrome can be overcome through learning to accept uncertainty and set realistic goals. While it may be challenging, you can learn to accept that not everything goes according to plan – and that embracing uncertainty makes us stronger as humans.

Try to break away from rigid roles such as being the helper impostor – someone who believes they must do everything themselves and feels pressure to succeed. This type of impostor can often be found among women who feel under pressure to succeed.

4. Celebrate your achievements.

People suffering from impostor syndrome often struggle to appreciate their achievements and the value of their work, fearful that unless they continuously prove their competence they will be exposed as frauds. This fear often results in anxiety-inducing overcompensation – working harder and longer in an attempt to keep up with perceived expectations but eventually ending up exhausted and demotivated.

Hill suggests the first step to overcoming impostor syndrome is acknowledging your feelings and knowing you are not alone. After this step is completed, identifying specific aspects of impostor syndrome will be key. “If you tend to feel like an impostor when working on big projects, consider breaking it down into smaller tasks so it seems less daunting,” she advises. If compliments or positive feedback is difficult for you to accept, seeking supportive environments could help as well as learning to recognize successes more readily.

Vanderlan suggests taking steps to change cognitive distortions that contribute to impostor syndrome, including taking a step back and reviewing evidence that supports your competence. She advises keeping a list of achievements, praise, and recognition to read when impostor feelings arise as this will serve as a useful reminder that they’re unfounded in reality.

Common triggers of impostor syndrome include perfectionism and internalized pressure to achieve success, both of which are amplified by social media use. A 2023 study concluded that people who use social media more frequently tend to experience impostor syndrome at work than those who don’t utilize these platforms.

Reaching the core of these feelings takes time and patience, but it’s worth the investment: Studies have revealed that those experiencing impostor syndrome tend to be kinder, more generous people than those without it. By conquering self-doubt and learning how to accept yourself as you are, it may even dawn upon you that those “false alarms” were actually signs of your success!

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