Feel like a fraud? It's time to tackle Imposter Syndrome.

imposter syndrome

Feel like a fraud? It's time to tackle Imposter Syndrome.

Are you ever sat at work thinking ‘how did I even manage to get here?’ Perhaps you’ve just come out of a big meeting and you have no idea how you managed to get through it? Or even on your commute home, are you absolutely terrified that your colleagues will find out you’re a fraud?

Imposter Syndrome is a state of mind. It’s a feeling of self-doubt, a worry that you’ll be caught out at any minute and despite everything else telling you otherwise - all that’s going through your mind is this idea that you’re an imposter.

Well, let me start by saying - you are not alone - it’s something that is particularly common amongst women according to a national study of 3,000 U.K. adults commissioned by Access Commercial Finance. The study found that two thirds of women say they’ve experienced imposter syndrome at work in the past 12 months and that men were 18% less likely to experience it than their female counterparts.

And that’s not all, even incredible women such as Meryl Streep - a woman who has received more Golden Globe nominations and competitive wins that any other performer - has spoken out about her struggles with imposter syndrome.

Have a think about the women around you. How many of them make up excuses to explain their accomplishments?

Of course, we all experience a feeling of inadequacy regarding our self-worth at times. Sometimes we feel that we are not qualified enough to achieve something, especially when pushed outside our comfort zone or doing something for the first time. But this should only be temporary and shouldn’t develop into a continuous cycle of thoughts in our minds.

The implications of imposter syndrome has meant that many women undervalue themselves. This can potentially hold us back in asking for promotions, pay rises and developing our careers.

Well, it’s time we do something about it, right?

imposter syndrome

Start by reframing your thoughts.

Let me begin by saying this takes practice, and it’s going to be difficult to start with. Our minds have become so accustomed to thinking a certain way about ourselves that it’s difficult to ignore the nagging voice of doubt.

Recognise the thoughts you have and what points of the day you have them. Practice acknowledging them and then...simply move on.

You can focus on thinking something different instead. That could be a positive thought about yourself or even a happy memory. Perhaps a physical activity such as going for a run might work for you, or even doing something small like making a cup of tea.

Share your fears with others.

We’re in an amazing place where women are talking more - so talk about imposter syndrome too! Sharing feelings with others we trust is so effective in helping to address our thoughts and move on from them. Focus on just being yourself, staying humble and not being afraid.

Reflect on your successes.

This can link back to the first point - when you think of something negative, remind yourself of all your achievements. You are where you are because of YOU - you are your own creator and you haven’t just stumbled to where you are by chance. Celebrate your successes, you deserve it!

Don't dwell on failures.

We all experience setbacks in life, whether that’s havings doors closed on you, not getting a certain job, or just generally being let down. Everything we go through is a lesson and is part of our individual journeys - no one falls into successes without working hard and staying focused.

Learn from failures and come back stronger.

Don't compare yourself to others.

When we live in a world that is captivated by social media, it’s difficult not to compare yourselves to the other people we see on Facebook or Instagram. Remember, there’s always a bigger picture, and everyone is on their own unique journeys - don’t let becoming invested in other people’s internet journeys distract you from your own. Only measure yourself against yourself.

Keep pursuing your goals.

Never give up. Whenever you get a moment, visualise your goals and what you want to achieve. Regardless of how you feel, these should be your only focus. It’s more beneficial to spend your time reflecting on what you want out of life and what you want to achieve as oppose to the negatives. So, let’s start sharing our visions, celebrating our achievements and working together to build our successes.

Here’s to you! :)