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10 tips to overcome Imposter Syndrome

10 tips for imposter syndrome

You know how you feel when you get a new project or a whole lot more responsibility and suddenly you feel you’re in the wrong job?  You’re not alone – that feeling is Imposter Syndrome.

We all get it, especially women.  Someone says something, or you attend a meeting and it all goes over your head and suddenly you feel like a right idiot, in completely the wrong place and company and in no way worthy of being a project manager, or any other type of manager.  It’s only a matter of time before someone notices that you are not up to the job and fires you.

Roll with it: it’s not just you!  Here are 10 tips  to overcome Imposter Syndrome.

  1. Break the silence. Shame keeps a lot of people from “fessing up” about their fraudulent feelings. Knowing there’s a name for these feelings and that you are not alone can be tremendously freeing.
  2. Separate feelings from fact. There are times you’ll feel stupid. It happens to everyone from time to time. Realize that just because you may feel stupid, doesn’t mean you are.
  3. Recognize when you should feel fraudulent. If you’re one of the first or the few women or minorities in your field or work place it’s only natural you’d sometimes feel like you don’t totally fit in. Instead of taking your self-doubt as a sign of your ineptness, recognize that it might be a normal response to being an outsider.
  4. Accentuate the positive. Perfectionism can indicate a healthy drive to excel. The trick is to not obsess over everything being just so. Do a great job when it matters most. Don’t persevere over routine tasks. Forgive yourself when the inevitable mistake happens.
  5. Develop a new response to failure and mistake making. Henry Ford once said, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” Insteadof beating yourself up for being human for blowing the big project, do what professional athletes do and glean the learning value from the mistake and move on.
  6. Right the rules. If you’ve been operating under misguided rules like, “I should always know the answer,” or “Never ask for help” start asserting your rights. Recognize that you have just as much right as the next person to be wrong, have an off-day, or ask for assistance.
  7. Develop a new script. Your script is that automatic mental tapes that starts playing in situations that trigger your Impostor feelings. When you start a new job or project for example, instead of thinking for example, “Wait till they find out I have no idea what I’m doing,” try thinking, “Everyone who starts something new feels off-base in the beginning. I may not know all the answers but I’m smart enough to find them out.”
  8. Visualize success. Do what professional athletes do. Spend time beforehand picturing yourself making a successful presentation or calmly posing your question in class. It sure beats picturing impending disaster and will help with performance-related stress.
  9. Reward yourself. Break the cycle of continually seeking  and then dismissing  validation outside of yourself by learning to pat yourself on the back.
  10. Overcoming Imposter SyndromeFake it ’til you make it. Now and then we all have to fly by the seat of our pants. Instead of considering “winging it” as proof of your ineptness learn to do what many high achievers do and view it as a skill. Don’t wait until you feel confident to start putting yourself out there. Courage comes from taking risks. Change your behaviour first and allow your confidence to build.

Thanks to Sue Black for passing on this list!

If you liked this article you will enjoy my ebook, Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Ten Strategies To Stop Feeling Like a Fraud at Work. Find out more and buy your copy here: http://overcomingimpostersyndrome.com.

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