Some estimates say that as much as 70% of people in the workplace feel they suffer from imposter syndrome at least part of the time!

Even academy award-winning actress, director and producer, Jodie Foster has admitted, “I always feel like something of an impostor. I don’t know what I’m doing,” At the time she said this, she was speaking at a 2007 Women in Entertainment Power 100 event where she was the guest of honor.  Not an imposter.

Simply defined, Imposter syndrome is where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.  It can create stress, frustration, perfectionistic tendencies and fear.

Here are 4 things that may help you recognize and overcome imposter syndrome:

  1. Separate feeling from fact. Just because sometimes you feel less-than or stupid (we all do). It doesn’t mean you are!
  2. Realize your environment may trigger those thoughts. Sometimes being a minority in your work environment, like a woman in a male-dominated industry, for instance,  could have you feeling like an outsider. This may contribute to feeling like an imposter.  Build friendships and create quality relationships with those you were with to counteract this tendency of thought.
  3. Write a new script for yourself. Recognize negative tendencies. I sometimes refer to it as “stinkin’ thinkin’!” If you are taking on a new challenge and feel doubt creeping in, take a moment to redirect your thoughts. Tell yourself, you are smart enough  and talented enough to figure it out!
  4. Play up the good stuff. Without getting lost in perfectionism (often associated with imposter syndrome) celebrate what you do well. Heck, be bold and celebrate with other people!  Isolating yourself with feelings of imposter syndrome is one thing that can perpetuate it, so it’s ok to share how you feel, and then share your wins, too!

Reality is, if you suffer from imposter syndrome you probably have no reason to worry that you’re a fraud.

On the other hand,  there’s no reason to fear showing comfort and confidence in your abilities, either.

You’re awesome!

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