Let Go of Imposter Syndrome and Own Your Greatness With These 6 Tips
- January 27, 2021
- Posted by: Funmilola Sanya
- Category: Mental Health
“A round of applause for Grace!”
“If not for Grace, we wouldn’t have secured the contract,” says the boss with a large smile.
Meanwhile, Grace sits at a corner wondering why her boss and colleagues are clapping their hands and praising her. I didn’t do a thing, she mutters to herself, maybe just a few calls here and there…
There’s a term that aptly describes how Grace feels. It’s called imposter syndrome.
Impostor syndrome (also known as fraud syndrome or the imposter experience) is defined as “a psychological pattern in which a person doubts their accomplishments, and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed or seen as a fraud.”
Coined by Dr. Pauline Rose Clance and Dr. Suzanne Imes, Imposter syndrome is when you feel you aren’t competent at what you do and deserving of rewards or success, despite all evidence showing otherwise. You don’t regard your university degrees, work experience, high recommendations, work ethics as factors responsible for your competence, and you constantly doubt your talents, skills, and professional achievements.
Most times, you feel like a fraud – pretending to be what you’re not.
These few questions will help you know if you are suffering from imposter syndrome:
- Are you a workaholic?
- Do you credit your success to chance, connections, or some other external factors?
- Do you have the need to work harder and harder to measure up?
- Are you afraid to fail?
- Does the slightest constructive criticism crush your spirit?
- Are you a perfectionist?
If you answered ‘yes’ to many of the questions, you might be suffering from imposter syndrome. Most people question their competencies and capabilities all the time without giving thought to their skills and hard work, and it isn’t a good thing to do. You lose your sense of worthiness and self-worth and it doesn’t matter how much money you make or how many great people you know, you will never feel enough.
These tips will help you get through Imposter Syndrome and increase your self-worth:
Don’t be the superhero
You don’t have to be the first to arrive at the office and the last to leave, neither do you have to save the day all the time. Don’t try to handle every task, otherwise, you will feel guilty and this might get depressed. Your self-worth isn’t tied to how much work you put in.
Credit your work
Don’t reduce the value of your work to luck. No, you weren’t just lucky, you’ve invested time, money, and energy to get to where you are, and you deserve every reward for your hard work. You don’t have to be humble about it. So own your successes and bask in the praises you get – accepting that your success is a big deal is a step to fighting imposter syndrome.
Resist the need to prove
You cannot possibly feel worthy if you constantly have the need to keep working, working, and working to validate yourself. It is common for imposters to set very high goals for themselves, which when they fail to achieve, makes them feel like a fraud. Recognise that you are already doing enough.
Respond positively to failures
Failures are inevitable. People who battle with imposter syndrome find it hard to imagine themselves failing, and therefore beat themselves up for it when they eventually fail. Developing a healthy response to failures will help you learn from your failures and move on, instead of dwelling on them.
Don’t take constructive criticism personally
“People who feel like impostors are crushed by constructive criticism. When you add the dynamics of race and gender, it can be hard to sort out if you’re getting rightfully criticised or if it’s coming from a sinister place,” said Dr. Valerie Young.
There’s a difference between constructive criticism and condemnation, although criticism in any form hurts. Watch out for criticism that is genuine and constructive, take the necessary lessons from it, and don’t take it personally.
Don’t be a micromanager
People with imposter syndrome tend to deny help from others and choose to go the solo way. Learn to delegate tasks and know that you are worthy to receive help and support. You don’t have to do it yourself to get it right. You can get it right with the help of others who might even be more competent than you. There is no shame in asking for help.
Getting rid of imposter syndrome will boost your self-confidence, reduce anxiety and elate your spirits.
Do you have other tips on how to deal with imposter syndrome? Please share with us in the comment section below.
Featured image: istockphoto