The Key to Overcoming Imposter Syndrome at Work

imposter syndrome

If you ever doubt your abilities at work and feel as though you are a fraud and only got to where you are professionally because of luck or others misjudging your aptitude, you could be suffering from imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is the feeling of not being competent or deserving of one’s accomplishments, and like you are eventually going to be “found out” for not being as intelligent or skilled as others believe you to be. This can lead to anxiety, burnout, and lowered job satisfaction and performance over time. Learn more about the key to overcoming imposter syndrome at work:

Acknowledge Your Feelings

The reason imposter syndrome can be damaging is due to the measures generally taken to overcompensate for the perception of inadequacy, such as overworking to prove you’re “good enough.” To begin overcoming imposter syndrome, the first step is to simply acknowledge your feelings as they occur. Be observant about your mindset and when symptoms of imposter syndrome are creeping up. Then, simply identify the situation without taking any type of action or making judgment.

Compile Positive Evidence

Imposter syndrome is difficult because it makes you question your self-worth, which then can make it challenging to objectively assess a situation at work or your overall performance. That is why it is crucial to have positive evidence to the contrary that you can refer to when you are struggling. Keep a record of whenever you receive complimentary feedback or have professional success, such as emails from your boss congratulating you on a job well-done or a message of gratitude from a colleague for whom you were able to help with your expertise. Whenever you realize you are having a bout of imposter syndrome, take a look at all of your compiled positive evidence of your abilities to counteract the negative thoughts and bring you back to reality.

Reevaluate Your Perspective

Reframing is a technique in which you proactively change your mindset and consider different ways of viewing a situation. Reevaluating your perspective when you experience symptoms of imposter syndrome can help you not only overcome it, but become even better. When that voice inside your head tells you that you aren’t good enough, pause and consider other alternative ways of thinking about it – i.e., “My boss wouldn’t have hired me if she didn’t think I was qualified” or “This mistake will help me grow and be even better in the future.”

Reach Out for Support

Imposter syndrome can be isolating, since it can seem like everyone else in the workplace is highly skilled and always has it together. However, it is actually a very common issue that affects many professionals at all levels. Reach out for support, such as by asking a trusted mentor or colleague if they have experienced imposter syndrome. It can be very validating to realize you are not alone, and you may receive valuable advice about what helps them.

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