Conquer Imposter Syndrome With These Tips

If you haven’t heard of imposter syndrome, you’ve probably experienced it. It’s wondering how you fooled your coworkers into thinking you’re smart, informed, experienced. Or it can feel like you are actually far less qualified than others think.

How Imposter Syndrome Strikes

I’m definitely not above experiencing imposter syndrome. In a recent meeting, someone asked me, “Given all of your experience, what do you think?”  Every person in that meeting stared at me, looking for wisdom.

Ignite your team! Reach out today to find out about our leadership training services.

Suddenly, my imagination filled with every bad decision, mistake, miscommunication, failure I’ve caused. Then it went over the social, emotional, and financial costs accumulated with them. “How did those failures that chewed me up then spit me out into this position?” I wondered.

Victims of imposter syndrome aren’t a lonely bunch. Around 70 percent of people experience this phenomenon at some point in their lives.

“Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.” — Gill Corkindale

Types of Imposter Syndrome 

While annoying, it’s completely normal to experience imposter syndrome. The feelings of self doubt, incompetence and inadequacy are really common. Researchers narrowed down five different projections of imposter syndrome. Do you recognize one of them?

  • Perfectionist: The perfectionist holds a Walter from Breaking Bad mentality. He believes a minor flaw in an otherwise perfect operation signifies failure.
  • Natural Genius: This type of person goes through life completing tasks with relative ease. Therefore, any workflow difficulties or an inability to achieve immediate success bring feelings of shame.
  • Rugged Individualist: Often called a sololist, this individual prides themself on completing tasks alone. Therefore, the need to ask for help signifies failure. Ji-Yeong is an example of this in the beginning of Squid Game.
  • Superhero: This person defines their success on how many roles they can balance and excel at. When an assignment is late or a conflict with a friend, it can feel like overarching failure.
  • Expert: The expert is similar to the perfectionist at a knowledge level. Think of Sheldon, in Big Bang Theory. He bases his worth on his grasp of science and feels shame when he is outsmarted.

Conquer Imposter Syndrome

These problems cloud the mind with shame and a sense of failure. Try taking these steps to ignite your self image.

  • Recognize the Signs: To conquer imposter syndrome, you must recognize the problem. Ever found yourself scrolling  social media comparing yourself to those you see? What about feeling exasperated over minor errors in your work? Do you often attribute your success to luck and downplay your achievements? These are all signs of imposter syndrome. Once you pinpoint when they happen, you can work to negate their occurrences.
  • Visualize Success and Take Ownership: Don’t sit in the passenger seat driven by anxieties and self-doubt. List out your goals focusing on your strengths. When working with others, take on tasks you can achieve and ask for help when it is needed. And take credit for your own accomplishments.
  • Seek Support: The most important thing to remember is you are never alone. Reach out to your peers and mentors. Sometimes you need to look out in order to see within. Supportive friends, teachers, and family members can help affirm you are worthy of what you have achieved.

Your Confident Future 

Yes, your coworkers have worked hard to get where they are. But so have you! Our world has been driven by anxieties of an uncertain future. Don’t allow those anxieties to manifest in your sense of self and belonging.

You pay tuition in the form of mistakes and their costs in the university of life. The degree of wisdom you earn adds to your knowledge and expertise. Life is humbling. Arrogance is what people feel before they are humiliated. Confidence is what we feel after we’ve learned through success and failures in life.