We’ve all had it, that moment where we imagine everyone is thinking ‘who the hell does she think she is?’. Our brain is telling us we are a fraud - we don’t belong in the discussion. Imposter syndrome. In the rapidly growing Facebook group The Career Mum I asked over 900 women to introduce themselves by way of saying what they were good at. Even the most senior executives that I know personally and have witnessed their achievements started with ‘I found this really hard.’ This saddens me.
A study in the international journal of behavioural science suggested it affects 70% of the population. So here are my suggestions to overcome it:
When you accomplish something, internalise it. Acknowledge it and celebrate your success. Share it with others. Then you will become more comfortable in the future.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Consider the value that you can add independent from what others bring if necessary.
Remove emotion, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy by considering it purely from the business perspective. I always find it fires me up if I stop and think if this was my business, I would want me here, bringing my knowledge and expertise. I’m the right person for the job.
I record the things that people tell me that I’ve done well, keeping emails, LinkedIn recommendations etc and for times that I need a boost
What you can do to help others:
If you manage a team, tell people what they are good at and what value they bring. Ensure they hear and acknowledge.
Stop and tell people what they do well. They will most definitely appreciate it.
Thanks for reading!