If you suffer from chronic self-doubt and frequently downplay your professional accomplishments, you may suffer from Imposter Syndrome (IS). While occasional feelings of inadequacy are normal, people with IS are rarely comfortable with their achievements and often fear others will someday discover they are “fakes”.
“Very high self-doubt is not conducive to a career,” says Fabio Ibrahim, who led a study on Imposter Syndrome cited in Psychology Today. “The fears lead to not facing challenges and not being able to grow from them.”
To fight Imposter Syndrome, consider this four-part plan.
How Do You Defeat Imposter Syndrome?
“Recognize imposter feelings when they emerge,” says Harvard Business Review. “Awareness is the first step to change, so ensure you track these thoughts: what they are and when they emerge.”
One way to do that is by keeping a journal.
“Whenever you experience feelings of self-doubt or inadequacy, write them down, and be specific about why you’re feeling this way,” says Mind Tools. “The chances are that seeing your thoughts written out in black and white will enable you to see how harmful they really are – and, most importantly, to challenge them!”
Celebrate your successes! Think about all the effort you put into achieving that goal. Focusing on your accomplishments can help banish your doubts and provide a sense of balance.
And don’t be afraid to talk to others about your feelings. “Allow yourself to find support, validation, and encouragement outside your own head,” notes LinkedIn. “Most people have these sorts of feelings occasionally and talking about them can diminish their impact almost immediately.”
To reinforce that you are capable, set a modest goal, or one that is slightly beyond your ability. Every success will help reduce negative thinking and encourage you to keep reaching.
Focus on mastering a skill – even if you don’t excel at it. “When you focus on mastery over outcomes or results, you judge yourself on what you have achieved,” says Forbes. “Opinions of others will become less relevant. And when you stop focusing on what others think about your performance, you stop feeling like an imposter.”
“Take a break when the pressure is high,” NPR recommends. “There are going to be good days and bad days, and your worth is not tied to the lies in your head. Take some deep breaths, get a good night’s sleep or take a nap, if that helps. If exercise is your thing, do that too. Yoga, going for a run or even taking a walk around your neighborhood can help transform your mindset.”
Understand that you may not always succeed. Think of every setback as an experience that leads to knowledge and growth. Gradually, you will be able to get past the self-doubt and recognize and value your accomplishments.
Ready To Defeat Imposter Syndrome?
If you’ve set a goal to advance your career, contact Pro Resources Staffing Services for guidance.