How to deal with imposter Syndrome
By: Charles Tyrwhitt
Do you ever sit down at your desk in the morning and think to yourself, 'What am I doing here? I don't belong in this job. Am I a fraud?'?
Well, if you do, you'll be glad to know that you're not alone.
62% of UK adults experience what is more commonly known as 'imposter syndrome'. But what is it?
A feeling that your accomplishments have occurred due to luck or good fortune, as opposed to your natural talent and ability, imposter syndrome is a theory that was first identified back in 1978.
Different individuals experience imposter syndrome in different ways, purely dependent on the person and the circumstance which they find themselves in.
Talk it through
The first thing you need to do is talk about how you feel. As we've previously noted, more than 60 per cent of the UK population experience the same feelings. A problem shared is a problem halved after all.
Learn to appreciate success
Sometimes, for someone with imposter syndrome, the difficulty is not being able to appreciate success and recognise when they have performed well. This is particularly true for those who fall into the 'perfectionist' category. In order to overcome this dissatisfaction, you need to take a step back every now and again, realise your achievement, and pat yourself on the back.
Create an image in your head of success
Think of a changing room before a cup final. Beyond the 90 minutes, if we choose to focus our attention on football for example, the image in the mind of the players is one of glory. Visualise lifting the hypothetical trophy and don't fixate on being branded as a 'fraud' along the way.
Ask for help
Winston Churchill was backed by the support of a nation, while Bill Gates was aided by the creativity and innovation of a strong organisation. Asking for help is by no means an acceptance of defeat. On the contrary, asking for help is an identification within that means you understand you have more scope to learn.
Professor Sir Cary Cooper is a psychologist on organisational and workplace psychology, and he points to the fact that imposter syndrome can have a particularly adverse effect on performance.
Cooper proposes: "Imposter syndrome can inhibit productivity and seriously impact an individual's career progression"
You will almost never find a situation where potluck is the sole reason behind your current position.
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