Imposter syndrome in the workplace and how to overcome it

By Anush Pervez

A large amount of us have experienced feelings of doubt and uncertainty at some point in our working lives. However, when your accomplishments are a result of your own hard work, knowledge and experience, yet you continue to feel inadequate, you could be suffering from imposter syndrome.


Although it might be something that you don’t have much knowledge on, imposter syndrome is fairly common with up to 70% of people experiencing it and some point in their lives. 


So, if you feel like you or someone you may know could be suffering from imposter syndrome or something similar, then read and share our tips below on how to combat these feelings in a healthy manner.


Step 1 – Know the signs


We most often neglect the signs of imposter syndrome when they occur in our day-to-day lives. However, when you begin acknowledging them, you can start to overcome them.

Signs of imposter syndrome include but are not limited to:


·      You feel like you got lucky when in reality you worked hard for it

·      You find it difficult to accept praise

·      You over apologise for things that don’t require an apology

·      You are petrified by the thought of failure

·      You always feel like you could do more, even when you’ve completed all of your tasks


Step 2 – Know you’re not alone


When you’re suffering from imposter syndrome, it’s important for you to know the amount of other successful people, both male and female, who also suffer from it, all whilst building successful careers and regularly coping with it. This will encourage you to push through and not let it get in the way of your goals.


3 – Be kind to yourself


Imposter syndrome can manifest itself as a negative voice inside your head and negative self-talk can become increasingly damaging in the long run, increasing your stress and anxiety. Start by catching your negative thoughts and turning them into positive ones. Short, positive affirmations can be something along the lines of, ‘I worked hard and I always work hard.’


4 – Track and measure your success


When you’re suffering from imposter syndrome, one of the most difficult things to remember is how much you of a role you have actually played in your own successes. To help show yourself that you’re actually doing well, keep track of your wins in a private document and reflect on them when you can feel yourself getting side-tracked by imposter syndrome.


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