Have you ever worked hard for something only to feel like a fraud when you achieve it?
Maybe you have put a lot of effort in to gain a promotion and now you’re second guessing yourself? Or you have realised your biggest career ambition only to question whether you’re worthy? If any of these scenarios sound familiar, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that approximately 70% of people suffer from Imposter Syndrome.
According to Verywellmind.com, ‘Imposter Syndrome is the experience of feeling like a phony – as if at any moment people will discover you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s like you don’t belong where you are, and you only got there through dumb luck’.
Impostor Syndrome can be a one-off experience or something that plagues people constantly throughout their lives. It can help to consistently remind yourself you are exactly where you are meant to be, and you got there for a reason.
So, what do you do if you constantly feel like you’re a fraud? We’ve put together some tips that will help.
- Lower your own expectations. Many people who suffer from Impostor Syndrome are perfectionists with unrelenting standards. Don’t focus on doing things perfectly, but rather, do things well. Be kinder to yourself. No one else is expecting the unattainable high standards you are setting for yourself.
- Stop comparing. Every time you compare yourself to others, you will find some fault that fuels the feeling of not being good enough or not belonging. Instead, during conversations, focus on listening to what the other person is saying. Be genuinely interested in learning more.
- Assess your abilities. If you have long-held beliefs about your lack of confidence in social and performance situations, make a realistic assessment of your abilities. Write down your accomplishments and what you are good at and compare that with your self-assessment. The goal here is to reinforce your abilities and diminish the feelings of fraudulence.
- Question your thoughts. As you start to assess your abilities question whether your thoughts are rational. Does it make sense to believe that you are a fraud, given everything that you know? If you’re struggling, reach out to a friend or family member who’ll be able to provide more objective insights.
- Stop fighting your feelings. Don’t fight the feelings of not belonging. Instead, try to lean into them and accept them. It’s only when you acknowledge them that you can start to unravel those core beliefs that are holding you back.
- Share your feelings. Feeling like an impostor can be overwhelming and it can stop you moving forward in your career. Make sure you talk to other people about how you are feeling as irrational beliefs tend to fester when they are hidden and not talked about.
Whilst Impostor Syndrome may drive some of us to improve, it can also cripple a career. Most people, at some stage, have doubts as to their abilities – after all, we’re only human.