Three methods to defeating Imposter Syndrome

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Have you ever thought you didn’t deserve the credit for an idea, the pat on your back for a job well done, or perhaps even a promotion within your organization? You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in very good company. Award-winning author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou once shared, “I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.” The minute we start to doubt ourselves and our abilities, we may experience feelings of fraudulence. Commonly referred to as imposter syndrome, approximately 3 in 5 individuals say they have experienced self-doubt that has caused them to question their knowledge, experience and work, leaving them feeling inadequate and undeserving of awards or attention.

Imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. And, as reported in the Harvard Business Review, it disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. If you find yourself experiencing these feelings, here are three ways you can manage them and potentially help others.

Talk about your fears.

Whether you choose to talk to a trusted friend or family member, mental health professional or supervisor, addressing how you feel and discussing where those feelings stem from can be helpful. Additionally, encourage honest conversations at work. When we can bring our true selves to work, we can build authentic relationships that help us feel known and valued.

Seek support and resources.

Help is out there! From Ted Talks to mental health and wellness professionals, tools are available to help manage feelings of imposter syndrome. Try one (or a few) to find what works for you. And be sure let others who share similar feelings know they’re not alone.

Look for development opportunities.

Take the opportunity to learn new skills. Through continuous learning, you can expand the range of challenges you can handle and renew excitement for your role. Completing a learning experience is a great way to build confidence and re-ignite your creativity! Not to mention, it can also grow your network and open new career paths.

If you or someone you know feels self-doubt creeping in, don’t let it fester. Engage in conversations to discuss where those feelings are coming from as soon as possible. Then, you’ll be able to more quickly find the help needed to defeat them.

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Looking for more thought leadership related to mental health and wellbeing? Check out “Mental Health and Wellbeing: A Priority for Leaders”.

And if you are interested in learning about learning experiences at ADVISA, visit our Leadership Effectiveness section of the website.