Tips and Tricks to Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

Defining Imposter Syndrome

“I am not sure I deserve this.” “I didn’t earn this job.” “I don’t deserve this recognition or attention.” Do these phrases sound familiar? Experiencing imposter syndrome is completely normal because unfortunately, this is common amongst all employees. According to Medium, “imposter syndrome stems from an acute sense of self-doubt and is generally described as something similar to the feeling of believing you are an imposter.”  To keep it simple, someone who doesn’t feel like they belong in the space or situation they’re in, which might become so severe that employees end up asking themselves, “are you even good enough to have imposter syndrome?” At the end of the day, employees are human beings with insecurities. This blog will give you tips and tricks to overcome imposter syndrome and ensure you feel motivated to continue working confidently every day with a smile.

Causes of Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be caused by a variety of scenarios. Picture this: Over the course of your journey at the organization you work in, you see your peers achieve accolades and promotions. On the outside, you feel happy for them. However, on the inside, you’re questioning every bit of what you have achieved and the worthiness of it. On the flip side, you yourself could be the one being recognized for hard work, and still feel a sense of confusion and unworthiness of imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome usually comes with a sense of uneasiness or not fitting into your current situation. To overcome this feeling, it’s important to believe in yourself and ground yourself in what you’ve done and the tangible feedback you have on your work.

Find a Mentor

Finding a mentor can help you work smarter and not harder to achieve your goals. According to Forbes, “Identifying a good mentor who’s been there before can make all the difference—[they] can offer strategic insights, support, encouragement and constructive criticism from their own experience, while also acting as a sounding board.” You need to find someone who can put themselves in your shoes and empathize with how you feel throughout your journey. The purpose of a mentor is to be a guiding light to help a mentee find their path at a workplace. A mentor can also be a confidante to a mentee. If the mentee is willing to be vulnerable, the mentor will have an opportunity to talk to them about similar experiences they may or may not have gone through.

Be Your Own Booster

Sometimes, being your own booster is easier said than done. You need to be able to tell yourself that you’re doing well at work. According to Forbes, “you can find your confidence again by remembering all of the ways you’ve made a positive impact.” Make a list of all your achievements and keep it in front of you on your desk. Keep encouraging notes from your teammates and managers to affirm the quality of your work. Ask yourself the following questions – What was your last big win? Where have your contributions made a difference to the organization? Looking out for the positive rather than letting the negative take pride of place in your mind will be a major confidence booster for you to not question yourself and your actions at work.

Recognize and Reward Yourself

There’s no denying the fact that employees need to be rewarded from time to time. Does the phrase “treat yourself” sound familiar? The stigma of “not being good enough” has yet to be destroyed. This can be changed by celebrating achievements of any size, such as completing difficult tasks or long projects. Rewarding yourself can help you stay motivated to come to work every day. Work is a never-ending struggle. It’s always going to be around. Taking a break from work to reward yourself with a vacation or me-time isn’t a crime. It’s a necessity, even if it means taking a nap for an hour to unwind and recharge yourself. This is one of the biggest stigmas for new employees, especially, because they have this misconception that they would let their teammates down and would look bad for not working constantly towards their team goals. This does not have to be the case. Encouraging employees to take time off shows a positive company culture and good work environment.

Set Realistic Expectations

When brand new employees enter the industry, they tend to set unrealistic expectations for themselves because they want to stand out from their peers every chance they get. This causes them to be afraid of failure in a big way, to the point where they get either more competitive than necessary or more complacent than necessary, depending on their outlook for their unrealistic goals. According to Forbes, “failures are part of life and we all deal with them.” Inexperienced employees tend to set expectations that they are not likely to live up to, leading to either failure or a shift in expectations, so that they can learn from their past performance when setting future goals. You need to be able to set expectations that are realistic and practical. Start off small and take it from there as you move on to the next steps. That way, imposter syndrome doesn’t kick in at any point of the process and hamper your work, by creating obstacles or a habit of impossible goals.

Celebrate the Successes and Hard Work

Successes are rewards regardless of how big or small they are. Overcoming imposter syndrome means celebrating the rewards. According to Forbes, “celebrating and acknowledging wins propels people forward, and confirms their abilities, which bolsters their self-efficacy; they will, in turn, feel like they are equipped to do the job at hand.” Celebrating successes allows you to feel validated and appreciated as an employee. The organization you work in values you and the work that you do. If wins are not celebrated, imposter syndrome might kick in, making the employee feel inadequate or ineffective, leaving the employee to feel unappreciated and not valued enough. 

Tackling Imposter Syndrome Through Employee Experience

Professional insecurities are real. Employees want to feel appreciated and valued at work at every opportunity they get. PxidaEX is a great tool to get to know your employees better and on a deeper level. Sign up for a free trial today!