The term imposter syndrome refers to “an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be”.
Essentially it is the feeling of being a fraud. The phrase was first coined in the 1970s to describe the experiences of high achieving women.
Nowadays, many people (especially women) struggle to feel like they belong, despite their skill-level, degree of experience, and effort. One of our missions at Live in Boldness is to combat these feelings by creating a community of supportive women.
Here are 5 ways imposter syndrome presents itself and how you can overcome it in the workplace.
What Does Imposter Syndrome Look Like?
1. Attributing successful to external factors
- This is saying or thinking things like “it was just luck” or “it just happened this way” instead of acknowledging the hard work you put in to be where you are.
- Doubting your abilities to yourself and others is another way that imposter syndrome represents itself. Engaging in this negative thinking will make you feel less deserving of what you have and what you want.
3. Unrealistic expectations for yourself
- Having high expectations and standards for yourself is not a bad thing. But if these expectations are unreasonable or based on comparisons to others, it can be unhealthy. You are likely not doing your best work if you are constantly trying to prove something.
4. Overthinking/admonishing your performance
- If you leave yourself zero room for mistakes and error, it can consume you. Constantly going over your performance in your head looking for mistakes is not a healthy practice.
5. Inability to realistically assess your skill-level and expertise
- This feels like a constant battle of not being good enough, even though you have the training and experience to do your job or tasks. Being unable to realistically assess yourself will hinder your growth and is an unhealthy practice.
How to Battle Imposter Syndrome
The key to overcoming this fraud feeling is to reevaluate your beliefs. At the end of the day, what you believe to be true, will be true. It is understandable to be intimidated at a new job or in a male-dominated environment, but if you constantly berate yourself, you are essentially making it worse.
Instead, practice self-love, confidence, and forgiveness.
Love yourself and give yourself the space to mess up. Have confidence in your abilities. Look at your track record, it is likely that you have earned your position, and can back it up with an advanced skillset.
The Power of Affirmations
Create affirmations for yourself to overcome these limiting beliefs. Put them in your phone as reminders and tell yourself every day how incredible you are.
Destroy these imposter feelings by replacing them with new truths like:
- I belong.
- I earned this.
- I have the skills to perform the job better than anyone else.
- I got this.
It Is Up To You, But You Are Not Alone
Overall, it is up to you to challenge these feelings. Don’t accept these negative thoughts as truths. You are in control, so you determine what is true for you and what isn’t.
Imagine if you told a child every day that they were not capable of doing well in school? Or that they did not belong there? Do you think they would thrive? The same idea goes for you.
Fill yourself up with positivity and words of encouragement, you will be surprised by how much you can overcome with a new mindset. It is up to you to change your beliefs, but you are not alone.
Imposter syndrome is a common theme among professional women. Reach out to other women in your industry or speak to a registered therapist if you are still struggling with these feelings, if possible. We promise you, it is possible to thrive in your workplace and feel like you belong.