You have probably heard about imposter syndrome. But do you know what it is and what can you do to overcome it? Imposter syndrome is when you feel like a fake, like you’re not good enough. It’s common among high achievers who are unable to accept their career success. Those who suffer from imposter syndrome have persistent self-doubt and a fear of being exposed as a fraud or impostor. If that sounds like you, the following strategies for overcoming imposter syndrome might help:
1. Take stock of your accomplishments
Be honest with yourself. Take stock of your accomplishments to get clear on what you have achieved in your career so far.
Try the following exercise: Get a blank sheet of paper or open a document on your computer, tablet or phone. You’re going to make four lists. At the top of each list include headings of:
‘I am skilled at…’ (your skills)
‘I have achieved… ‘ (your education/qualifications/awards)
‘I have experience in…’ (your experience)
‘I am….’ (your strengths)
‘My manager and colleagues would describe me as…’ (your talents and personal attributes)
Doing this can be incredibly helpful as you start to recognise and own your talents. You can include these in the ‘About’ section of your LinkedIn profile as well as in the Skills and endorsements section.
Update your CV and LinkedIn profile being sure to include all your qualifications and training, skills and accolades. Reach out to your network on LinkedIn such as current and previous colleagues, and associates to ask for endorsements and recommendations. You’ll be amazed how other people view your competencies and expertise even if you don’t recognise these yourself!
2. Hire a career coach
A career coach can help you connect with your greatness. Working with a coach can be a powerful and effective way to recognise and fully accept your value. A coach can help you identify your strengths as well as any areas for development. They will ask you questions that will help challenge you and help overcome your inner imposter.
Coaching organisations like the International Coach Federation (ICF) describe coaching as: ‘A thought-provoking and creative process that inspires coachees to maximize their personal and professional potential’. When working with a specially trained career coach, you can zero in on any insecurities you have surrounding your career.
3. Consider mentoring others
Mentoring others can be a great way to help you recognise and leverage your knowledge, skills and experience. While it might seem counterintuitive to become a mentor to someone else, mentoring others can help you in your own development. Being a mentor, can be a fantastic confidence booster as you help someone else to shine and be their best. You’ll also feel wonderful knowing you have helped support someone else. You might even witness imposter syndrome in others, help them to overcome it and gain valuable personal insight.
If you think you are suffering from imposter syndrome there are things you can do to overcome it. To overcome imposter syndrome, work on identifying your skills, experience, strengths and accomplishments. It can also be helpful to work with a qualified and experienced career coach who can help you overcome imposter syndrome. Mentoring others can also be a huge confidence boost and help you recognise your own talents while developing others.
Do you suffer from imposter syndrome? Let me know in the comments below or reach out by email.