Do you feel like an imposter? Are you constantly worrying that someone will find out how unqualified you are or see through the facade of success that you’ve created for yourself? If so, then don’t worry – you’re not alone! At some point, as many as 70% of people struggle with imposter syndrome. And while it’s easy to believe that everyone else has got life figured out and is living a charmed existence, the truth is that we all have our battles to fight.
Confront Your Negative Beliefs
Take a moment to think about your negative beliefs that most likely contribute to your imposter syndrome. What do you tell yourself? For example, “I don’t have the background for this,” or “everyone here is smarter than me.” The first step in overcoming your feelings of imposterism and achieving success is challenging these beliefs.
Next, consider the evidence that will disprove these beliefs. There are many ways you can do this – for example, if one of your negative beliefs is “I don’t have enough experience,” then look at how much time and energy you’ve already put into your career. The value of the collected experience you’ve had from your professional roles can be significant even when you enter a new field.
Another way to confront negative beliefs is to ask yourself, “what external evidence do I have of this belief?” Think about regular feedback from your manager or peers. Take an honest look at your performance reviews. Is there evidence that you are not good at what you do?
Focus on the Value You Bring to the Team
If you’ve successfully disproved some negative beliefs, this is an excellent time to think about your value. Focus on what makes you unique and valuable. What do others appreciate about working with you? There are many ways that people can contribute in their workplace – it doesn’t matter if they have as much experience or not.
What helped me effectively see my value was to note what I brought to the table that others did not. My role allowed me to get the voice of the customer to the table. My experience working on the client side in the past gave me a perspective others did not have.
If you are honest and open with yourself, you will see many ways you contribute that other people can’t. The trick is to be honest and not let the imposter syndrome get to you. This was important because it is easy to feel like an imposter when everyone around us seems more qualified than we are – but this isn’t true. The question is, “What can I do that no one else on the team could?”
Get Support from a Trusted Friend or Coach
I realize it can sometimes be hard to confront negative beliefs or see your value on your own.
You may find it helpful to share your thoughts with a friend or coach. It can be difficult when you feel like your friends are all more successful and accomplished than you, but the opposite is often true. As I noted at the beginning of the post, 70% of people struggle with Imposter Syndrome. Your friends and work colleagues may need the same support you do.
In addition to getting support from friends and a coach, you can also use a technique called “reframing.” It involves looking at negative situations from different perspectives so that they may seem more optimistic or possible than you initially thought. For instance, instead of telling yourself that everyone at the table is more capable than you, you can reframe the situation and tell yourself that you would not be at the table if you weren’t qualified.
Imposter Syndrome can be a real struggle at different times in your career. Just when you think you control it, a new situation can take you right back to where you were from the beginning. But, with these helpful techniques and a little practice reframing your thoughts to be more positive, you can get on top of it and finally start succeeding where you might have thought you would fail.
Leaders at all levels can struggle with imposter syndrome. It can happen at any time in your career, and it’s usually caused by self-doubt and negative beliefs about your abilities. But don’t worry – you can overcome it! By focusing on the three key areas we’ve outlined, you can start to chip away at those negative thoughts and build up your confidence. If you want to overcome imposter syndrome, set up an introductory call with me. I’d be happy to help you start on the path to success.