Do you feel it’s just a matter of time before you are ‘found out’ at work? Do you constantly believe you don’t deserve the success you’ve achieved and instead put it down to good luck or timing? If you answered yes to both these questions, you are likely to be suffering from ‘Imposter Syndrome,’ a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. (Harvard Business Review)
Don’t worry, you’re not alone – in fact you’re in great company – imposter syndrome is surprisingly common amongst high achievers. Acclaimed author Maya Angelou once said, “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find me out now” and Academy Award winner Meryl Streep remarked, “You think, why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?”
So what can be done to conquer imposter syndrome once and for all? Here are our top tips to help you stop feeling like a fraud:
1. Keep your inner gremlin in check:
If your inner voice is saying negative things about yourself or your ability, then proactively replace those thoughts with positive ones. Know what success looks like for you and keep a bank of evidence to demonstrate to yourself how successful you really are.
2. Don’t be a perfectionist:
Give yourself permission to make mistakes now and again. Try not to judge yourself harder than you judge others and when someone gives you a compliment, accept it graciously.
3. Be positive:
Try to change the way you think about failure. When things go wrong, think like an optimist – simply take the learnings and move on. Don’t be tempted to blame yourself or take things personally – this will simply fuel your imposter syndrome.
4. Expand your comfort zone:
Say ‘yes’ to new challenges to keep expanding your comfort zone. By operating in your “stretch zone” you will prove to yourself what you are truly capable of.
Unlocking your commercial confidence is key to driving your performance and achieving business success. I hope these tips will help banish your self-doubt and give you the confidence to believe in your own abilities and achieve the extraordinary.