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How to deal with Imposter Syndrome

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 20 Oct 2021

Imposter Syndrome Hero Image

Have you ever thought that you might simply not be good enough to either have your current job or be offered a new role? I have. You may have bad days where you feel like everything you do is wrong, or maybe you’ve made a mistake at work and thought it could be prevented? To put it simply, no one is perfect, and we have all made mistakes. Some we can fix and some we can’t, we’re all human and it happens to the best of us. Whether you have made a mistake, or you have recently been wondering why you are where you are today, imposter syndrome is not a nice feeling, but it can be managed. You need to believe that you are in your role for a reason, you are good enough and you have earnt your place to be there!

What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is when a successful or high achieving person, doubts their abilities and is always thinking whether they are good enough or not. It’s an experience that leads you to believe that you have not earnt your place or that you are not as competent as others around you lead you to believe. It can start with you pushing away congratulations or praise from a recent achievement and after a while, the more you put yourself down, the more you will believe it. It has strong links to perfectionism in the workplace and can really affect your mental health.

What is shaking your confidence?

In order to start shaking the negative feelings surrounding your job, try and figure out what it is that is making you feel like a fraud at work. Is it a new job title, a new project you’ve been assigned, or have you just been promoted? Some of these things can be heavy stressors, but the important thing to remember first of all, is that whatever it is, you have earnt it.

The answer to this may be obvious to you and could simply be that you think someone around you is better than you are, someone else deserved the promotion because they had more experience or maybe it’s because you haven’t worked in your current role long enough and you feel rushed?

Whatever it is, you arose to an opportunity and were rewarded for all of your hard work. You have worked hard to get where you are, and it is deserved! Maybe take a look back at your career journey so far and remind yourself of the steps you took. It never hurts to persuade yourself that you have worked hard enough. You earned your spot, embrace it.

Is it time to tell someone how you feel?

If you are still doubting yourself, it might be better to talk to your line manager or the person that hired you/promoted you/or gave you the new project. Talk to them about your concerns and what you are worrying about, they will be able to let you know why they picked you. If you feel like you need confirmation about why you are right for the job, then go get it. Hearing it from someone else can sometimes be better. We all tend to be a little too hard on ourselves and most of the time, we are our harshest critics.

Show them that they didn’t make a mistake, motivation to not let yourself and others down can be enough to get your belief in yourself back.

Talk to your colleagues / teammates

It is highly likely that you are not the only one, like I said before, many people go through the same thoughts and feelings that you may be going through. Being able to talk to someone that you work with about this can help enlighten you about this topic. Your colleague may be feeling the same, but you think they have it all together? They work hard, get things done and always achieve! Well, this is probably how they think about you as well. It’s all about perspective, if you tell yourself something enough times, you will start to believe it. If you find that the people around you have faith in you and your abilities, it’s time you pushed the negative feelings away and started giving yourself some credit.

Don’t let things define you

Whether you have been feeling this way for a while or you have recently made a mistake at work that led to these feelings, don’t let them define you. You are not your mistakes and you are definitely more than your job, so why should it control the way you feel? You are employed and working in your team because you are worthy, you have the skills and the talent, and your employer believes in you. Challenges will always come your way and that is part of the journey, but when something bad happens, try, and move past it. Imposter syndrome can be inevitable, we cannot prevent ourselves from feeling a certain way. But we can work to improve the way we feel and develop as people and as professionals. Use the resources around you and believe in yourself. You are enough and you are worthy.