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Are you blagging it at work?

Try our tips to eliminate Imposter Syndrome

by Psychologies

ever feel like an imposter at work?

Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough for your job, or spend your days wondering how you got there? If you do, you might be surprised to hear you’re not alone.

An increasing number of us are suffering from Imposter Syndrome – the feeling that we don’t deserve our job and are blagging our way through it, trying not to get caught out. It can strike anyone, at any point in their career. Ultimately, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy – you don’t think you’re good enough to be in your job, so you stop acting like you’re good enough.

Try out our tips to battle Imposter Syndrome and stay on top of your game.

1. Celebrate your achievements Write down the brilliant things you’ve accomplished over the last few years. Look at each one and tell yourself ‘I did that’. Once the evidence of your success piles up in front of you, it’s much harder to deny it or put it all down to luck.

2. Remember, you’re not the only one feeling like this Simply reading about Impostor Syndrome can provide real relief as you realise that these thoughts are normal. ‘Realising that apparently self-assured colleagues also experience moments of doubt can help us bear in mind that we are not, of course, infallible,’ says executive coach Elaine Barker.

3. Find a mentor Career expert John Lees believes that mentors are powerful antidotes to Imposter Syndrome. ‘A good mentor reminds you of your impact and performance,’ he says. If you can’t find one, ask a trusted colleague to tell you what you are doing right.

4. Swot up on the symptoms Once you realise you have these thoughts, you can spot and challenge them when they arise. Also, recognise that feeling incompetent and being incompetent are very different – thinking thoughts doesn’t make them true.  

5. …And relax It’s easier said than done, of course, but try to let go of any anxiety you feel about your career. ‘If you’re doing a good job and making a visible contribution, you probably don’t need to worry about anything,’ says Lees.  

Elaine Barker is an executive coach. John Lees is a career expert and author of How To Get A Job You’ll Love (McGraw-Hill Professional, £12.99).

More inspiration:

Read I forgot the brownies by Mandy Lehto on LifeLabs

Read The 9 doubts most of us keep private on LifeLabs

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