Copy of News Header (1) 19/02/2021

Imposter Syndrome getting you down? Five Tips to overcome it

The concept of Imposter syndrome has been around as early as the 1970’s when psychologists Suzanna Imes and Pauline Rose Clance first coined the term, and it’s since evolved from being linked to mainly high-achieving women, to being more widely recognised in various other groups.

Imposter Syndrome, simply put, is the feeling that where you are today is down to sheer luck, rather than how well you have achieved. It’s been linked to:

  • perfectionism
  • intelligence
  • achievement
  • social anxiety

It can also be identified through many behaviours including:

  • self-doubt
  • unrealistic expectations
  • inability to assess your own skills
  • sabotaging your own success

Imposter Syndrome a viscous cycle that can happen in both work, where 70% of people are reported to experience it at some point of their career, and personal situations, where it can overlap with social anxiety.

If this sounds like a familiar feeling to you, there are ways to combat this menacing thought process, and to help you start thinking you belong again and appreciate the work you do. Here are five tips to overcome it:

Tip 1: Just be yourself

Your strength is that you are unique, you have an authentic personality, way of working, and learning. Trying to be something you’re not, can actually be more effort and cause you more stress in the long run. Focus your attention on your abilities and what you know to be true.

Tip 2: Talk about it

There is absolutely no shame in asking for help or admitting you’re struggling to colleagues, friends or family. Holding in your worries will only cause you more stress. By reducing this you will feel more confident in your abilities to do the task at hand.

You’re not alone, talking to someone you trust may lead to you learning that they have also experienced the same thing and they can therefore offer helpful advice and tips that have worked for them.

Tip 3: Reward yourself

Learning to reward yourself when you’ve hit a target no matter how big or small, will help to break the cycle of doubting yourself and seeking recognition from others. You haven’t got to where you are today out of sheer luck, you’ve earned it and it’s okay for you to realise this. Even thinking of past achievements, praise and rewards you’ve had will help you to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Tip 4: Make your own rules

Even the most senior or experienced people make mistakes, so you are allowed to be wrong sometimes. Changing your mindset from “I should always know the answer and it’s unacceptable if I don’t” to “I’m allowed to ask for help and not know the answer to everything”, will completely change your way of working and your mindset. Assert you right to be wrong, it’s more common than you think.

Tip 5: Visualise Success

Having a positive mindset from the very beginning will curb any negative thoughts and feelings, giving you a fighting chance from the start. Envisage yourself giving an engaging presentation, getting amazing marks on your report, or even getting up first thing in the morning and having a positive outlook on the day ahead. No-one wants to picture a disaster.

Remember: You deserve to be where you are today.

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