What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter Syndrome is a fear that one might be a fraud in the workplace, even if you have the qualifications to be there. As was written for Scientific American by psychologist Ellen Hendricksen, Imposter Syndrome is “a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”
It is worth noting that “up to 70% of people have experienced symptoms of imposter syndrome” at one point or another, and it tends to be even more apparent among those who work in the healthcare industry.
Who is most often impacted?
Imposter Syndrome, according to Hendricksen, most often impacts those who are high achievers and also negatively affects minorities and women.
High achievers tend to believe their success was given to them through means other than their hard work and perseverance. Whereas minorities and women often feel singled out and become convinced they do not belong in their workplace. They may also feel as though they aren’t worthy opponents of their white/male counterparts, especially in a male-dominated field.
How do I overcome it?
Imposter Syndrome can be a daunting fear and a challenge to overcome. Some people never fully shake the feeling of being undeserving of their position or out of place. While it may seem impossible at the time, there are ways to prepare and combat this negative perception of yourself. Below are four ways to identify and overcome your Imposter Syndrome:
- Become Self-Aware
- Accept that you may feel the effects of Imposter Syndrome and become in-tune with your own anxiety.
- Be kind to yourself and provide yourself with constructive criticism rather than destructive.
- Celebrate ALL Your Accomplishments
- Make a list of things you’ve accomplished and are you’re proud of, regardless of whether they are big, small, personal or professional. Keep the list updated so that when you hit a roadblock and become doubtful of your capabilities, then you can look back on all the things you’ve accomplished so far.
- Create a Strong Support System and Expand Your Network
- Talk to others around you who may be feeling the same as you. Use Imposter Syndrome as a way to connect, bond, and support each other.
- Find people you can trust who can attest to your accomplishments in an honest manner. Look to them for uplifting motivation when you are feeling down.
- Acquire a mentor who may ease your anxiety and self-doubt, as well as alleviate the stress that comes along with on-boarding in a new job position.
- Rewrite Your Story
- Take charge of your life and rewrite your own story by taking what makes you feel like an imposter and turning it into a strength, whether that be your age, gender, race, variance in qualifications in comparison to peers, etc.
- Free yourself from the ideas of perfectionism and stop shaming yourself for imperfections. Stop holding yourself to unrealistic standards, create a strong work-life balance, and organize yourself by breaking up tasks to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
- Utilize mindfulness tactics to gain perspective of your life and priorities.