How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

4 October 2021

In last week’s blog, we covered a term that might be new to you, Imposter Syndrome. The official meaning of the phrase is ‘the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills’. So, now that we know what it means, and we’ve identified it as something that might affect us all at some point in our working lives, how do we overcome it? That’s what we’re going to discuss today.

But first, what are the biggest signs of Imposter Syndrome?

Putting pressure on yourself – Comparing yourself to others, working longer hours than necessary, over-preparing for meetings, and generally feeling stressed out.

Giving others credit for your hard work – It can be strangely difficult for us to accept a pat on the back for a job well done, and perhaps you’ve tried to pass the credit on to someone else to take the spotlight off yourself.

Using minimising language – Playing down your thoughts to others in the workplace, ‘this might work’ when you know for sure it’s a solid plan because if you aren’t 100% confident your solution is correct, no one can be too harsh if it doesn’t work.

What can we do to help ourselves overcome Imposter Syndrome?

Remind yourself, everybody fails sometimes – Everyone makes mistakes, it’s just a way of life! It’s important to develop a healthy response to failure, and confess when we mess up. You are qualified for the job you have, if you weren’t, you wouldn’t have been offered it in the first place! Hold your head up high and own your mistakes, and you’ll find yourself well respected for it.

Talk about it – According to a national survey by OnePoll, up to 62% of UK adults may be dealing with Imposter Syndrome, so there’s a good chance that by opening up and talking about it to someone, that someone is either feeling the same way as you or has done in the past!

Embrace it – We all have our quirks as humans, so why not accept it for what it is, and embrace this feeling? As long as it’s not causing you actual upset, it can actually help you to motivate yourself and stay focused at work.