Feel like a Fraud? Here’s How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Not many people, including myself until very recently, realize they may have a case of “Imposter Syndrome”. Put simply, Imposter Syndrome is that nagging feeling of being undeserving of attention or praise for your accomplishments, no matter how experienced you are or how hard you work. Taking any amount of credit for a job well done feels extremely uncomfortable for people working through this. It’s that feeling you get when you think you’ve somehow conned people into believing that you are qualified for your job (even though you totally are), and every goal you achieve can be explained away by good luck or good timing.
Now, this isn’t just about low self-esteem — when someone struggling with Imposter Syndrome dismisses praise or recognition, they are convinced that their talents or intelligence are simply overrepresented to others. And this isn’t just something people in corporate settings deal with. In fact, luminaries such as Tina Fey, Maya Angelou, and Albert Einstein have all admitted to feeling that they didn’t deserve credit or recognition for their accomplishments. Whether you consider yourself an “imposter” or not, here are three tips to help boost your confidence in your work and accept the praise you deserve.
Watch the Language
As professionals within a Public Relations Agency, we should always speak with confidence and expertise when providing top-line recommendations for our clients. Women are known to use qualifiers in their speech that belittle their ideas and recommendations much more often than men. This verbal tip-toeing can come off as insecurity and make you unsure of your own abilities in the long run. How can you expect others to trust you if you don’t fully believe in yourself? As Beyoncé once said, “The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.” Working in a public relations firm, it is of the utmost importance to have strong communication skills — that means being both a keen listener and a confident speaker. Start challenging yourself to eliminate words like just, maybe, possibly and somewhat when giving your opinion. This seemingly simple exercise can help you eliminate self-doubt and boost confidence in yourself.
Remember the Good Stuff
When you start thinking that you haven’t earned your accomplishments or your ideas and skill aren’t worthy of attention, remind yourself of the good things that have happened and the positive feedback you’ve received from managers, colleagues, and peers. This will help stave off any doubt you had in your abilities and improve your perspective on your own work. An easy way to do this is to keep an ongoing list or folder handy that contains any notes of praise, promotions, descriptions of your accomplishments or anything that made you proud of yourself. Refer back to these items in times of uncertainty to inspire some healthy feelings of pride.
Talk About It & Build Confidence
Another great way to combat the feelings that come with Imposter Syndrome is to simply talk about it. Here at Konnect Agency, we work in an open, collaborative, and supportive environment, and many of us have built strong friendships that extend outside of our regular work hours. When you talk to and connect with the people around you, it may surprise you to find that you have a lot more in common than you thought. Sharing your feelings with people who relate to them and having them will leave you feeling encouraged and supported. Simply knowing that you’re not alone in your feelings can lead to a natural boost in confidence.
As you work on incorporating these three tips into your professional and personal life, I hope that over time you will be able to let your confidence shine in a way that becomes natural and habitual.
Remember that you have talent and you are capable!