6 simple actions to overcome impostor syndrome and develop greater career confidence
Updated: Oct 29
70% of the UK population has experienced impostor syndrome in the past year.
Despite being called a syndrome it is possible to overcome impostor syndrome and thrive in your career or business. Here I share with you 6 simple strategies to help you overcome impostor syndrome and feel more confident.
There are 3 components to impostor syndrome:
1 – the belief that other people have an inflated view of your own
skills and abilities than you do
2 – the second factor is that you have this intense fear that you will
be found out and exposed as a fake
3 - you constantly attribute your success to factors outside of your own
abilities and talent. The impacts of impostor syndrome go beyond wellbeing and can also have an effect on your performance, productivity and the
overall success of your career or business.
6 Simple actions you can take today
The best way to start to overcome impostor syndrome is to start changing the narrative around it and to talk openly about experiencing the effects of impostor syndrome.
When we are able to talk about the feelings and thoughts that we have we are removing the mask which is protecting and we are able to be are true authentic selves.
In the 2019 book Ditching Impostor Syndrome by author Clare Josa she writes about the positive impact people had when they opened up the conversation, the relief at the realisation that what they were feeling was common and it reduced their self-judgement, they could then start taking positive action to clear Impostor Syndrome.
Clare Josa has developed an easy to remember ABC technique designed to help you in the moment when impostor syndrome is rearing its ugly head.
The first thing to do is to become aware that you are ‘running’ impostor syndrome, that it is not you but that it is the impostor that is making you feel this particular way
A = Awareness & Acceptance
Accept the negative thought, rather than fighting it (which makes it fight back). If you need a mantra then ‘that was an imposter syndrome thought’ is a useful one.
B = Breathe
Do three, deep sighing breaths to reset your nervous systems stress response. Then spend 60 seconds gently resting your focus on your belly, as you breathe calmly and slowly.
C = Choose
Consciously choose to think a thought that makes you feel happy or that brings a sense of relief.
OWN YOUR WORTH
When you receive a compliment it is easy to shrug it off and to think that the person who told you that you did a fantastic job was just being nice.
Each time you receive a compliment receive it by saying thank you, try to avoid saying something like, thank you but it was nothing.
Write down the compliment that you received. I try to file all of mine away in a positive feedback folder that I use to remind myself of what I have achieved.
Go one step further and consider what it was about the action that you took that was praised. If it is not immediately clear ask the person for more information.
Recently I was having a call with a business contact and she told me that she ‘really liked my Instagram’. I was about to say ‘oh thanks me too although I’m not really sure what I am doing with it’ And then I stopped and said thank you that is really nice feedback, what specifically do you like?
Review the feedback file and track trends that you can see in there. This is a great way to extrapolate strengths and understand more about the positive impact your contribution is making.
STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE
Focus on what you are aiming for and not what everyone else is doing.
TAME YOUR INNER CRITIC
Thinking or feeling that you are not good enough all stems from a limiting belief from your subconscious mind. Your beliefs are formed from experiences and they are very rarely true. When your inner critic is talking to you with negative thoughts we need to tame the impact that it having on us.
First it is important to recognise when limiting beliefs are creeping in; they will normally start with I don’t, I can’t, I must, I mustn’t, I am, I am not, others are, others will, others can, what if...
The 5 biggest limiting beliefs I work with are:
1. I’ll have to sacrifice my personal life
2. What if it is not perfect
3. Others can do it better than me
4. I don’t deserve to be successful
5. Nobody cares about what I have to say
Whilst all of these beliefs may come true they are a possibility, not a guaranteed outcome.
1 – Identify limiting beliefs that you may be thinking, feeling or saying.
2 - Separate out the facts from the limiting belief. Each time you catch yourself thinking something negative look for the facts that support that belief and look for the evidence that the belief is untrue.
PAY IT FORWARD
Impostor syndrome is common and it is possible to overcome despite being known as a syndrome.
What changes will you now make to help you overcome impostor syndrome?
What changes will you now make to help others overcome impostor syndrome?
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