On the 13th of July, Warner Recruitment attended the Women With Vision Networking event. It was an amazing opportunity for women in business around Northampton and Milton Keynes to become acquainted and support each other.
During the event, there was a presentation and discussion on the topic of impostor syndrome. Impostor Syndrome often goes unrecognised and can easily be mistaken for anxiety or low self-esteem. So, what exactly is Impostor Syndrome, how can you recognise it and how can it be dealt with?
Impostor syndrome is the belief that you are not who you say you are. People that experience this feel like they are a fraud and not as competent as others perceive them to be. Experiencing these emotions are not uncommon and most people have experienced Impostor syndrome or the symptoms of impostor syndrome to some degree at different points in their life.
You can only identify something when you have knowledge of what it is and how to spot it. Here are some of the characteristics of Impostor Syndrome:
· The inability to celebrate your own achievements
· Feeling like you are never good enough
· Constantly striving to overachieve
· Accrediting your success to luck
· Penalising everything you do
These example characteristics can help you recognise impostor syndrome. This internal experience can feel like a never-ending cycle and result in mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. Different factors can bring about impostor syndrome such as:
Different personality traits can feed into Impostor Syndrome such as perfectionism and insecurity. Perfectionists can delay their work because they try to get things “perfect”, in addition to this they tend to critique themselves too harshly and feel their work is not good enough because they believe it can be better or perfect.
Similarly, individuals that struggle with low self-esteem battle with the constantly belief that they are not good enough and unqualified.
Family culture and parenting can have a massive impact on the views and behaviour of an individual. If an individual is constantly held to high standards or has been brought up by parent that are controlling, this can be a trigger of impostor syndrome.
New Environments or Opportunities
Entering a new place for work, school or even a club for example can be daunting especially when your success is dependent upon how well you perform. Many can be overwhelmed in these situations and feel pressured to live up to a certain standard because they feel that others are more qualified than them.
Once an individual has identified impostor syndrome, it is important to look at different ways to cope with it and hopefully get over it altogether. Here are few ways that you can start to tackle impostor syndrome:
Talk to others
Speaking to people you trust and making them aware of what you’re going through helps to alleviate stress and it a great way of reminding yourself that you are not alone. It is possible that the people you confide in have had similar experiences to you and may be able to relate to you and offer you support.
Acknowledging your achievements and successes will help you internalise them and give yourself credit for the hard work you put it. It is also a good way to reflect on how far you have come, if you have achievements then you are making progress!
Perfect doesn’t exist
It is very important to understand that there is no such thing as perfect. Perfection is subjective, what is perfect to one person may not be adequate in another’s eyes and vice versa.
It is okay to be yourself
Being you is what makes you unique. Comparing yourself to others will always have a negative impact, you are not the same as others and others are not the same as you. Everyone has different skills and ways of doing things, that is a good thing.
Progress is gradual
Mindsets and views have been learnt so they can be unlearnt, but you cannot expect to see progress overnight, the process will take some time. Patience is key and it is important to constantly reflect.
The last thing to note is that impostor syndrome is assumptions versus reality. Assumptions are not facts; they are what you believe to be true. Once you can distinguish your feelings from the truth, it will make a world of difference.