Earlier this month I posted about imposter syndrome. Since then I’ve been thinking about how we can overcome this feeling that we’re faking it and don’t deserve our jobs, and that we’re not going to be successful. This has been particularly relevant to me over the last couple of weeks as I have been interviewed for a job at work that would amount to a promotion and it’s been really important that I convince myself that I deserve the position so that I could persuade the people interviewing me that I should be appointed.
I’ve been doing some reading and there’s all sorts of ideas out there so I thought I’d share the best of them.
- Visualise success – if you do this you’re much more likely to believe that you actually will be successful. Role playing success may work for you.
- Don’t let mistakes affect your confidence. Rather than wallow in a mistake, review it and learn from it.
- Squash negative self-talk – you know, those voices in your head that tell you you’re not good enough to achieve success.
- Keep a record of positive feedback and remind yourself that people value you. I find this particularly effective.
- Act confident. You know that saying “fake it until you make it”, well a more relevant version to overcoming imposter syndrome is “fake it until you believe it”.
- If your negative thoughts are starting to overwhelm you, talk to friends. They’ll be able to put things back into perspective.
- If you are successful, acknowledge that success – don’t says it’s just luck. This makes other people underestimate your abilities.
- As Sheryl Sandberg says in her book ‘Lean In’, focus on the value you bring – no-one achieves perfection. Set the bar at a realistic level.
- Stop playing safe – as Sheryl Sandberg also says, lean in to new challenges, take risks. Yes I know that’s really scary but think of the rewards! And research shows that risk taking, failure and perseverance are essential to confidence-building, though I must admit not too much failure would be good.
- Stop thinking so much and act! Over-thinking can end up paralysing you with the result that you achieve nothing.
Now I have to practice what I preach and I hope you use these ideas to overcome imposter syndrome and succeed!
I’m going to be away in Italy and Greece for two weeks but I’ll be doing a great interview when I get back.