“Am I good enough?”

“Can I do this?!” 

“I feel like a fraud!”

Sound familiar?

At some point in our lives, the majority of us have felt uncertain and unworthy. However, if despite your knowledge, diligence, and preparation, you feel insufficient despite your successes, you may be experiencing impostor syndrome.

You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt like an imposter. According to one study, it affects 7 out of 10 adults at some point or another. 

It’s interesting to note that hard workers, high achievers, and perfectionists, such as many doctors, lawyers, business owners, and celebrities, are frequently the ones who feel like frauds. Even Einstein once stated that he believed his research received far more attention than it merited. 

According to studies, Imposter syndrome may even cause a decline in work performance and job satisfaction while increasing your risk of burnout. It has also been connected to depression and anxiety.

So, to help avoid all that and instead, keep you on the path to success, we have put together some suggestions for overcoming imposter syndrome:

Stop comparing

Instead of comparing your accomplishments to those of others, concentrate on measuring your own. For instance, comparing your life to a carefully curated influencer’s social media feed can lead you to believe that you fall short.

Turn imposter syndrome on its head: Realise that imposter syndrome is a common occurrence in smart, successful people. The fact that you are aware of it in yourself therefore says a lot about who you are.

Note your successes

It’s far easier to dwell on negative comments than it is to remember the positive ones! So having a physical reminder of your accomplishments can be helpful when you feel inferior. Save the email your manager sends you thanking you for your excellent work on a project in a separate folder. If your child writes you a card complimenting you on being a good parent, put it somewhere you can see it, especially on days when it seems like nothing is going right.

Distinguish emotions from reality

Recognise that just because you believe something, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is true. Remind yourself that you know more than you think you do and that you are always capable of learning if your mind says, “I don’t know what I’m talking about.” 

Converse with others

Occasionally, if you have a good conversation with a friend or supporter who knows you and believes in you, your imposter feelings will start to diminish.

Consult a therapist 

A therapist can assist you in identifying imposter syndrome-related emotions and developing new coping mechanisms. It’s important to take action and move forward rather than getting bogged down by the thought that you can’t do something.

Self-doubt can be paralysing. But now that you are aware of how to handle these emotions, you can take steps to avoid falling victim to the imposter cycle.

So, have faith!

Remember that you are not alone.

Furthermore, Imposter Syndrome is NOT a career ender!

It IS possible to permanently alter your mindset for the better.

Learn all this and more on the 10th of November! 

Join us at The Ulster Museum as we bring together Northern Ireland’s hottest, sharpest, most creative and resilient minds for a night filled with actionable takeaways that will help you succeed both personally and professionally.