How to overcome Impostor Syndrome. Read my original article in Michael Page Australia’s blog.

How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome

When you receive a compliment about a job well done, do you immediately respond with, “Oh, it was nothing”? Do you really think that it was nothing and believe that anyone else could’ve done it better than you?

If you constantly feel that what you do is not good enough, you may have Impostor Syndrome, which is a psychological term describing a pattern of behaviour where you doubt your accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.

As a career coach, I come across this frequently, especially with my clients – male and female – who have experienced a redundancy and are in between roles as their self-confidence is usually at a low ebb.

I’ve found it doesn’t matter how powerful anyone is, they may still experience impostor syndrome.

Whether they are the Managing Director of a company, or someone who has won many awards, delivered multiple presentations or secured great wins – regardless of what they’ve achieved, how much respect they command, or how much good work they’ve done, they may still wonder if they are good enough.

And, despite having adequate external evidence of accomplishments, they’ll remain convinced they don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved. 

They may call their success lucky or just good timing, and dismiss it, believing other people are better, more intelligent or more competent than they are. 

How to spot if you have Impostor Syndrome

Often people with impostor syndrome are perfectionists who have a huge fear of failure and constantly undermine their own achievements.

This can be debilitating, causing stress, anxiety, shame and low self-esteem. 

Case study: Self-limiting beliefs

Two years ago, I worked with a client, Mary*, a very talented designer who has won numerous awards for her work and is well respected in her industry. However, despite all the accolades and awards, she always felt that she was only as good as her next achievement. Of course, she had no way of knowing when public recognition would come next and Impostor Syndrome set in.

Mary she doubted her ability and all the awards meant nothing to her as she called herself “unemployed” following major restructures in her company which led to an unhealthy work culture.

I started working with her to identify her personal and career values, we set out in detail her achievements – and specifically what actions she took to get her stellar results, we discovered her true “career anchor”, skills and knowledge, personal preferences and work motivators and de-motivators. 

What Mary really wanted was to be autonomous, to be the master of her own destiny and not have to answer to a manager who did not respect her work, all within a toxic work culture.

Her dream was to set up her own business. This is what she has done and she is now designing and creating what she loves most. Because of her talent, her work is a true reflection of who she is. She no longer has Impostor Syndrome because she is honest with herself about who she is, and the value she brings through her work.

*real name not used.

Tips to overcome Impostor Syndrome

Make sure you include these accomplishments in your resumé as a reminder of the value you bring to your role.

I’m [name] and I’m [area of expertise]. I help [people or companies]

to [outcome of your work] by [how you do it].

For example, I’m Jane Jackson, I’m a Career Management Coach and I help professionals to create their dream career by supporting them to gain clarity and confidence. I ensure they have the personal tools to reach their goals.

How to get yourself ‘match-fit’ for work

To get match-fit for work you must choose an environment which matches well to your values and personal preferences. Conduct an audit of what is important to you and compare it to what you are offered at work.  If there is a discrepancy, identify specifically what it is and take action to resolve it.

Here’s what you must do:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us … We are all meant to shine.”

These tips will help you to acknowledge when your self-talk starts to undermine your confidence and that ugly Impostor Syndrome rears its head again. 

Remember you are good enough, that you are enough, and next time someone compliments your good work, say, “Thank you, I appreciate that!

If you want to overcome Impostor Syndrome, I have a FREE MASTERCLASS for you:

The 3 Secrets to Personal Branding for Career Success. Find out how to project an authentic brand and attract career opportunities, career and business success. 

personal branding for career success, career success, impostor syndrome

Start today:

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