I’ve recently been working with a lot of clients through my coaching practice at Nudge, who are struggling to deal with Imposter Syndrome; “the inadequacy that people feel in the workplace, even if they are entirely able to fill a position successfully.”
There are studies that show that it’s most prominent in high-achieving women, who, despite their ambitious tendencies, feel that they’ve fooled people into thinking they’re smarter or more successful than they are. This kind of mentality can sometimes lead women to silence themselves in many ways such as refraining from speaking up an opinion during meetings or even downplaying their qualifications.
Destroying this mindset is vital because your voice needs to be heard. You have a duty to yourself to overcome the feeling that you don’t deserve success because ultimately, the more we avoid feeling anxiety, the more power it has over us. Fear and confidence are interconnected, so for us to decrease anxiety, we have to gain trust in ourselves and master what scares us. Here are a few ways to help you find your confidence and realise what you have to offer:
1) Be your information gatekeeper
Take a moment each morning to read either your resume, accomplishments or achievements for the past week before heading off to work, crack down on following unhealthy social media accounts that focus too much on aesthetic value and not enough emphasis on ambition and achievements and read powerful books. It can do wonders to re focus your mind, remind you of the battles you’ve endured on your path to success and why you deserve to be where you are right now. Mostly, you’ll be reinforcing the notion that your desire for success is rightful and that you deserve a voice in the professional world.
2) Change the way you think about anxiety
Don’t fight that anxious feeling, try and accept that it’s there and recognise what is causing it. Doing so will firstly help you build your emotional muscles to recognise triggers and what works and doesn’t work for you. It will also allow you to rid yourself of any ‘secondary feelings’ about being anxious like additional anxiety, shame or frustration. Practicing mindfulness and self-compassion will give you options in how you react to stress and allow you to overcome it.
Just like anxiety and confidence are linked, so is communication! How do we overcome the cycle? Through practice. Think about it: the more presentations you give, the more networking events you attend, the more interviews you have; the more confident and less anxious you become. Remeber, fear feeds off uncertainty, and confidence feeds off familiarity.
By slowly implementing these tasks into each day you can overcome your impostor syndrome mentality. It’s incredibly important that we recognize what we have to offer in our respective professions and aim to achieve the highest possible level of success for the future.