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Tags: Recruitment Advice, Career Guidance, blog

Have you ever said to yourself: “I don’t know what I’m doing”, “I don’t belong here”, or “Any moment now, someone’s going to catch me out”? If you’ve wrestled with these negative thoughts, chances are you are suffering or have suffered from imposter syndrome. And, you’re not alone, with an estimated 70% of the population also experiencing imposter syndrome, those feelings are common, yet we barely talk about them for fear of being caught out.

Despite people who suffer from imposter syndrome being statistically high achievers, they typically attribute their successes to mere luck rather than their skills or qualifications. When looking to move up the ladder in your career or for a new role, you must keep these feelings at bay to present your best self. So, give yourself some credit and stop thinking like an imposter with these five pearls of wisdom. 

Five steps to overcome imposter syndrome

Keep a record of your accomplishments

Accept compliments graciously and take a moment to digest them. Create a file of your accomplishments, including positive and authentic feedback. If you ever doubt your self-worth, take a look over this record to accentuate the positives, and outweigh the negative thoughts creeping in.  

Realise perfectionism is unrealistic

Accept that it’s okay not to know everything and that you’ll learn as you go. Remember, we are all 'work in progress', and mistakes are simply just learning curves. Failing is inevitable but as long as you take the time to reflect on what went wrong, you will be sure to learn from the experience and come out better for it.

Separate feelings from facts

When emotions are high, it's so easy to get wrapped up in a negative trail of thoughts. However the more we do that, the more these thoughts can spiral out of control. Whether it’s a task or project you’re stressing over, take a moment to look back at the facts and put things into perspective. For example, what you’ve delivered so far, and what’s holding you back from its completion. More often than not, perceived issues can be easily resolved. 

Stop comparing yourself to others

We live in a world of social media, where physical interactions have switched to virtual interactions and we showcase our best moments. Remember, we’re all quick to post our achievements but it’s much harder to talk about our failures. The image you are seeing of others is an idealistic persona they want to portray and whilst comparing yourself to others, you will overlook your own power and strengths. Change your mindset to focus on improving yourself rather than proving yourself.

Ask for help when needed

Asking for help does not mean you are unworthy. If you’re unsure of something or want a second opinion, ask the people around you, including your colleagues or managers. You’ll find that honesty will strengthen your relationships and minimise unnecessary doubts which threaten your confidence. 

In reality, there will always be situations you find yourself in that feed into feelings associated with imposter syndrome. But, it’s about recognising these thoughts momentarily and not catastrophizing over them by following some of the above advice. Whilst the older generation felt the need to “keep up with the Joneses”, we’re trying to “keep up with the Kardashians” however getting perspective and celebrating our accomplishments will lead to greater confidence and in turn more opportunities in your career or otherwise.

Need advice on your next career move, or help with how to present your best self in an interview? Our team of specialised recruitment consultants help 1000s of candidates each year, from application through to interview, to help place them in their next role. Browse available roles in your industry today!