Is Imposter Syndrome Holding You Back?

advancing women Mar 10, 2021

Learn how you can free yourself from self-doubt 

At one time or another, everyone has experienced nagging self-doubt telling you that you are not as bright or capable as other people think you are.  This internal voice that pipes up to say your accomplishments are ‘no big deal’ is either fleeting or a permanent echo in your daily life.

Imposter syndrome feels like you are not worthy of the roles and responsibilities you have in your personal or professional life.  It feels like you are a fraud.

Although imposter syndrome affects both men and women overall, more women than men experience a lack of confidence in the workplace (79 percent of women vs 62 percent of men). On top of this, 47 per cent of those women who admitted they lacked confidence at work feared that they weren’t getting enough support from their managers. 

The manifestations of imposter syndrome are varied.  It can be used as a motivator for some people, helping them continue to achieve beyond expectations – but this is not sustainable and will often lead to burn out.  For others, imposter syndrome is debilitating.  The crippling feelings of self-doubt lead to self-sabotage and stifle professional development and relationships with family, friends and colleagues.

Do I Have Imposter Syndrome?

Here are a few of the common signs that you may be experiencing imposter syndrome:

  • Thinking your success is down to ‘luck’ not merit 
  • Unable to appreciate the successes you have achieved as you are too focused on the things you could have done better
  • Anxious that you will not live up to expectations
  • Experiencing self-doubt and second-guessing your actions
  • Setting unrealistic goals and then berating yourself that you didn’t achieve what you set out to do
  • Sabotaging yourself 
  • Overachieving and burning out

Modern living in the age of social media amplifies the feelings of imposter syndrome. It enables us to compare ourselves with the rest of the world, not just our immediate social circles.  Others’ depictions of success through highly edited descriptions and filtered images creates a comparison culture wherein our self-doubt is allowed free reign to stifle confidence in our own achievements.

Imposter Syndrome manifests itself in different ways, depending on your personality type. For example:

  • Perfectionists are often dissatisfied with their work and reluctant to delegate tasks even though it would be acceptable and beneficial.  
  • Experts need to know everything about a subject and allow themselves to get distracted in pursuit of knowledge, meaning that projects progress slowly.
  • Natural geniuses often pick up tasks quickly and berate themselves when they can’t, leading to a cycle of low confidence.
  •  Superheros can be workaholics who aim to achieve beyond what is expected of them, leading to burnout and health issues.
  • Soloists typically prefer to work alone and view asking for or accepting help as diminishing their worth as an individual. 

How Can You Overcome Imposter Syndrome?

Overcoming imposter syndrome is a seismic shift for many people. It releases them from the shackles holding them back and preventing them from achieving their potential. 

Imagine closing down those crippling internal conversations of self-doubt and inadequacy.  Imagine being able to view your successes and performance through a lens of acceptance and appreciation.

It’s time to take action. 

Our 'Empower Your Future' professional development programme is a time and cost-effective way to define your goals, overcome your limiting beliefs and pursue professional and caring roles with greater confidence and conviction.

We are also offering a 'Mental Fitness Programme' to help you tackle the self-sabotaging parts of your mind and strengthen your ability to turn adverse situations into a gift and opportunity.


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