April 6, 2022

Feeling Like An Imposter in Your Career

Are you humble to the point of self-deprecation? Frequently find yourself feeling like the professional growth you’ve achieved is all a scam? 

If you find yourself feeling like you don’t belong in the career you have or frequently worrying you’re somehow not deserving of your success, this one’s for you. 

What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is very much what it sounds like- the chronic mismatch of what you feel you are, and how people perceive you. It’s a unique kind of discomfort to never feel like your skills are real or your efforts are valuable, and it can really impact the way you engage with your work or professional development. 

The signs of imposter syndrome

People who experience imposter syndrome at work are likely to feel like they are fooling everyone around them and are constantly on edge about someone discovering they’re not really as good as was thought. 

There is a varied list of things that could be a nod to imposter syndrome impacting your work life and confidence, but we’ve rounded up a few of the most noticeable signs. 

Giving your all and then some 

When you’re assigned to a new project or task, do you find yourself going above and beyond the directive to achieve success? If you’re eternally expending more energy than is asked of you in an effort to prove just how valuable you are, it’s possible imposter syndrome is contributing to that. 

Being too hard on yourself 

Everyone makes mistakes or has easily avoidable oversights in any line of work. When those mistakes feel like catastrophic offenses that you just can’t get past, it really takes a toll on your work confidence. A hallmark of imposter syndrome is when you are unable to forgive your own mistakes but are encouraging when others make them. 

Feeling unworthy of your role 

It’s one thing to look around at your achievements and be in awed disbelief. It’s another entirely to feel like you’ve got no business doing your job, or moving through the world with the reputation you have. 

Unable to accept praise or accolades

Constantly dismissing compliments or downplaying your achievements? There might be more to that than it looks on the surface. If you struggle to accept even the most well-evidenced proof of your success, imposter syndrome may have a hand in your low confidence. 

Does imposter syndrome impact your work?

Man standing on a rock looking at the sky

Unequivocally, imposter syndrome makes its mark on your professional growth and development. While it’s often regarded as a drawback or something to solve, there is some evidence that imposter syndrome can work in your favor to help you be a more empathetic coworker. 

Imposter syndrome definitely has an impact on your professional sphere, and it can be tough to navigate the complexities of what that means for your daily life. In some ways, those complexities can be used to help you. While there are many downsides to suffering from imposter syndrome, it’s possible there are also benefits from having experienced it once you’re given the chance to release the stress burden it can cause. 

Here’s what you can do to help

Now that we’ve established the signs that help you recognize imposter syndrome, what comes next? Finding ways to help yourself feel more empowered in your work and the space you take up in your professional life is the first step. Below are a few of our best tips for finding confidence in yourself and your professional growth. 

Learn your way out of it 

If you feel like you don’t deserve your role or don’t know enough for the respect you’re given, one solution is to learn more. Doubt your knowledge? Then reinforce it through continuing education and developing skills that can help you increase your knowledge base as well as solidify your confidence

Build a strong support system 

Having friends and colleagues on your side who can support you when you’re a recovering imposter is key to confidence success. Whether you choose to surround yourself with peers, mentors, or just friends who know and love you, have someone willing to balance your self-critical nature with challenges that remind you of your abilities. 

Keep track of your wins 

Much like the practice of gratitude journals or to-do lists, achievement logs can help you reflect more positively on your work worth. Customize the practice to be what you need, whether that’s a “feel-good folder” on your desktop or collection of accolades, but making it a regular part of your professional growth can make a huge difference in the way you perceive your place in your career sphere. 

Coach your confidence 

Bring a professional on board to balance your brainwaves. Counseling, coaching, and targeted therapeutic approaches designed to help you navigate your relationship with success and self are fantastic at helping you find your confidence. We offer one-on-one sessions focused on achieving your goals that can be modeled after the achievement you strive for without downplaying the success you’ve already achieved. 

If you’re looking for more tips or personalized support, StressSolutions has many options available to help you minimize the negative impact of imposter syndrome on your life. Let your competence shine with confidence, one step at a time. 

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