Many professionals struggle with Imposter syndrome. They believe they don’t deserve their position or achievements. They may feel inadequate or not equipped to handle their title, which others hold in high regard. Imposter syndrome is not an official diagnosis, but oftentimes, people who struggle with perfectionism, high achievers with multiple degrees and accomplishments, may struggle with feeling they don’t deserve such high respect from others because, internally, they feel like a fraud.
Where does this feeling of not deserving their accomplishments come from? People who struggle to believe they deserve to be in their position may think it was just luck or timing. It could also contribute to the highly competitive workforce within their career. They may compare themselves to others and have lower self-esteem. 25-30% of people may suffer from feeling like a fraud and not believe they deserve to be in the position they are in. 70% of adults have been known to feel like an imposter during some period of their lives.
Changing your mindset about the success and strengths a person processes can assist them in overcoming imposter syndrome. Taking moments each day to allow self-awareness and self-exploration to recognize and be proud of accomplishments is vital to decreasing thoughts of being a fraud. It is essential to recognize you have worked hard to get where you are and earned recognition within your field. It is necessary not to compare oneself to others but to measure the success they have achieved. It is important to note no one is perfect, and mistakes may occur. A mistake doesn’t mean someone isn’t good at their job or intelligent enough; it just means they are human. People need to reward themselves for a job well done. It can be challenging to break the cycle, but it is essential to remember that individuals can only do their best.
Imposter syndrome can stunt professional and personal growth. If someone believes they are not worthy of the job they process, it may prevent them from pursuing other opportunities within their career, relationship, or hobbies. Recognizing someone has imposter syndrome can allow personal and professional growth. Allowing yourself to acknowledge your achievements and talking to a cherished family member or friend about your feelings may enable them to put things into perspective. Talking about your feelings empowers you to break the cycle and be free from a barrier hindering you. Here are a few strategies that can allow you to cope with the feeling of being an imposter:
Allow for imperfection
It is impossible to be perfect. Change your mindset to believe that “mistakes are growth opportunities.”
Write down your success and recognize your achievements.
You worked hard for them, celebrate them.
Talk with others, find support, share your feelings, and find a mentor.
This will allow for deep conversation and valuable input.
Even small successes deserve to be celebrated.
Replace negative cognitions with new beliefs.
If you are still struggling, it is okay to contact a professional to assist you in providing strategies to help change your mindset. Overcoming imposter syndrome can be challenging and a journey but not a final stop. Creating support and acknowledging your strengths can feel very empowering. Remember how far you have come, where you want to go, and you deserve to be there; you have worked hard to get where you are.
Azab, M, 2023, Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: 6 Evidence- Based Strategies. Strategies for increasing self-validation, confidence and worth. Psychology Today.
Cohen, E, 2022, What Would Aristotle Do? Do You Have Imposter Syndrome? How to identify and overcome it with logic-based therapy. Psychology Today.