“Two-thirds of UK women suffer from imposter syndrome at work.”

This is according to a study reported in Aug 18 in HRGrapevine.  Imposter syndrome is that feeling of self-doubt, lack of self-confidence and insecurity, that creeping or sudden fear about our skills and abilities, forgetting we have them and thinking ‘I’m going to get found out’.  The study found the key triggers to be: receiving criticism; 26% of respondents, having to ask for help; 22% and 16% when “colleagues used complicated technology or jargon that they weren’t familiar with.”  It’s interesting that the article concentrates on women.
New York magazine ran an article recently that talked to 25 famous women about their experiences of imposter syndrome and shared in another…  “that if you haven’t had a moment in which you were buffeted by these sorts of fears, you’re in the minority…. something like 70 percent of people will experience at least one episode (of Imposter Syndrome) in their lives.’’

Women may suffer from self-doubt more than men, or maybe they are just more honest about it, but at Courageous Success we know that we all have times when we doubt ourselves, irrespective of our sex, job role or life-stage.
Courageous Success global leadership research shows that 88% of leaders agree that: I have times when I doubt myself, 79% agree that they’d use words like worrier, doubter, overthinking and lacking confidence when describing themselves.
When feeling like this we can often look outside of ourselves to find our confidence, or rely on strategies such as perfectionism, control and micro management, using jargon and technical language, to help us cope and feel better.   However these strategies can keep us on the treadmill of never feeling quite good enough.

Looking inside of ourselves for confidence and nurturing the habit of thinking positively about ourselves are key to maintaining self-belief and getting rid of imposter syndrome.

Building confidence and self-belief from within means it’s in our control, it increases resilience, and is a strategy that can last.  We can all choose to manage ourselves this way.
At Courageous Success we know that the best person that you can be is yourself, and if you choose to think more constructively and positively about yourself and situations, you will build inner strength, belief and resilience.  Here are some tips to help beat Imposter Syndrome at work:

  • Write down what makes you good at your job and keep them front of mind, using the positive energy to fuel your confidence.
  • At the end of each day, list three things that went really well because of you.
  • Don’t rely on knowledge and data totally to do your job, trust yourself too.
  • Recognise your strengths and play to them.
  • Be kind to yourself and others, don’t waste time beating yourself up about things.
  • Believe in and see the best in others, and yourself.
  • Use your heart and your kind actions, to support your self-esteem and know that the very best person you can be is yourself.