If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve felt self-doubt at times in your career. Often referred to as imposter syndrome, nearly everyone feels it at some point or another. The idea came to light in the 1970s through research that found female graduates felt undeserving of their success.
A recent LeadMD survey found:
- 1 in 5 women felt pressured to stay at work longer than other colleagues to prove their commitment
- More than 60% believe people perceive them to be more competent than they actually were at work
- Almost half felt their career progress was undeserving of their work input
- Men are more likely to report imposter syndrome and also felt pressured to work longer in the office
- Roughly half of Millennials believe their success was luck, at least sometimes
- More than 40% of Generation X agreed
- Baby Boomers are 20% more likely than the other two generations to say that they never feel like their success is due to luck
Imposter syndrome has been exacerbated by the rapid pace of technological change. It is impossible to keep up with how quickly change is happening. An always-connected job means always-on anxiety. Then there is the concern that technology could replace jobs, and people will need to re-skill to stay relevant.
Don’t feel the need to be perfect. Your career is a journey, and learning from your mistakes is a valuable teaching tool. No one ends up on the path they thought they would take and how you handle the breaks along the way, good or bad, propel you forward.
According to HR Digest, signs of imposter syndrome include, “downplaying your achievements, seeking perfection, doubting yourself, having little to no self-confidence, feeling like a fraud at work, fear, and so much more.” They recommend the following steps to manage imposter syndrome.
What Signs Are You Displaying?
The first step to take is to look inward and be honest with yourself. Are there signs you’ve noticed? Do you think your successes are luck? Do you have self limiting thoughts? Understanding your thought patterns and self-talk will help you uncover the root of the issue.
Progress Over Perfection
Again, don’t strive to be perfect. Embrace your mistakes as part of the journey, and don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Remember, no one is perfect.
Celebrate Your Wins
Don’t downplay the positive experiences you have. You should celebrate every win, even the smaller wins. Treat yourself to a nice lunch or an item you’ve had your eye on.
Discuss With A Mentor
Remember, no one is ever alone in their career. If you have a mentor, talk to them honestly and openly about how you’re feeling. They may have faced a similar situation. Connecting with them and showing vulnerability is a leadership trait that shows your development of soft skills.
Working through imposter syndrome is a process, you won’t suddenly feel different without continued effort. Building your confidence in yourself is one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself. Focus on doing your best and embrace the changes that come to you.
For more workplace articles, visit our blog.