So… have you ever felt like a bit of a fraud when it comes to your work? Have you ever had that niggling feeling that you don’t really know what you’re doing or that you’ll be ‘caught out’ for not being knowledgeable, experienced or competent enough?
Well, guess what?! That’s great! It means you really care about your work and your contribution in the workplace. It also means that you are not alone because SO many people feel exactly the same way, especially in the corporate world.
It’s actually really easy to get caught up in the self-doubt spiral, when your inner voice starts whispering negative nonsense into your ear…
Are you SURE you know what you’re doing?
Is this what my colleague would do?
What if they realise I’m often winging it?
What if I get it wrong?
What if my boss realises I don’t have all the answers?
Will my colleagues think I’m stupid if I ask a question about something I don’t know?
These thoughts can be debilitating and, for most women, they’re enough of a reason to either metaphorically retreat into a small and quiet space at work, or sell themselves short in their career progression.
ALL people – yes, women AND men – have these thoughts at some point during their career. The trick is to find out what’s in YOUR way, and what’s fuelling that voice in YOUR head, and then systematically find a way to beat it!
Self-doubt and insecurity within the workplace are EXACTLY the conditions needed for Imposter Syndrome to thrive, so if you want to progress your career and get that next promotion, here are 3 things you absolutely MUST remember, whenever you feel like Imposter Syndrome is digging in its claws.
1. STOP making yourself small!
Sometimes, our instinct when feeling uncertain or inadequate, is to withdraw and make ourselves as small and unnoticeable as possible. If we sit at the back of the class, if we don’t make ourselves heard in meetings and if we don’t approach the boss when we have a new idea, then maybe THEY won’t realise how unsure you are, and you avoid being exposed as a fraud, right?
Wrong! Repeatedly holding yourself back will only create a habit that will become harder and harder to break, the more you do it. The truth is, the more you act and think like an imposter, the more you will convince yourself that you ARE one, so the key here, is to do the exact opposite.
STOP making yourself small, and instead, try making yourself heard. Yes, your idea may not be taken on for that new policy and yes, someone else may have thought of it before you (or even made it better) BUT no-one has your unique viewpoint in the world, so your voice MUST be heard.
Anyone in the change management industry, dealing with diversity and inclusion, will tell you that diversity in the workplace is a good thing – in fact, it results in greater productivity, lower staff turnover and generally, a happier work environment.
But diversity is not just limited to the colour of one’s skin, their gender or their sexual orientation – THOUGHT diversity is also crucial in the workplace. ALL opinions, suggestions and ideas within a work environment are valuable because they ALL offer a perspective that may not have been previously considered.
Of course, this can be disconcerting at the best of times, so in order to make sure your voice is ALWAYS heard, the first thing you need to focus on is your confidence. Once you’ve worked on your confidence enough to make those suggestions and speak up at work, then THIS will become your new habit and the self-doubt you previously felt, will become a thing of the past.
And since Imposter Syndrome HATES confidence, creating this positive habit will become one of your best defense mechanisms for whenever you start to feel like you don’t belong.
2. Don't be afraid to ask!
Nobody knows EVERYTHING, all of the time. Even your most experienced colleagues have moments of uncertainty or need to ask for more information every once in a while. And there’s actually nothing wrong with that.
Learning, developing and growing within the workplace is vital if you want to progress your career and those who move fastest up the corporate ladder are usually the people who are open, confident and personable.
They speak comfortably and often, and if you pay close attention, you’ll realise that they are not afraid to ask. They ask questions if they don’t know something, if they want to know MORE about something or if they want to push back and challenge an idea. And this is great because it demonstrates a willingness to grow and an eagerness to stretch.
No boss wants an employee who can’t think for themselves and isn’t willing to look for answers when needed. They all want someone who is proactive and who has the initiative to recognise when they don’t know something, but then go and find out more.
Imposter Syndrome increases when uncertainty prevails, so if you’d like to conquer self-doubt and beat Imposter Syndrome once and for all, get the answers you need to be the most informed and confident version of YOU in the workplace. It’s THAT person who pushes aside fear and insecurity and does what it takes to move their career to the next level.
3. Remember that Confidence is MORE important than Competence, when it comes to getting ahead!
Of course, it’s always crucial to have a certain skill set for each role within the corporate world and usually, the more you know, the better you are at your job. BUT, surely you’ve come across colleagues throughout your career, who you KNOW aren’t as switched on as they pretend to be.
They may not possess all the skills required for their position, nor are they as competent as they should be. Most people in the office will even question how they got the job in the first place or why they are still there.
Usually in these situations though, you’ll find that there’s always one common denominator – CONFIDENCE!
These people always strut around like they know EXACTLY what they are doing, like they know better than everyone else, and like they KNOW that they are exactly where they’re meant to be.
Their performance in the workplace may not reflect this but one thing that will ALWAYS stand out is their confidence!
The truth is, in the corporate world, confidence is OFTEN more important than competence, when it comes to getting ahead. And this is because THESE people know that, in order to get the part, and keep the part, you need to ACT the part.
They are extremely skilled at Faking It til they Make It and their belief in themselves is what will usually have them moving up the corporate ladder faster than some of their more competent and skilled colleagues.
Now, this doesn’t mean that THESE people don’t also suffer from Imposter Syndrome… in fact, they probably feel it MORE than others. They’ve just managed to master the skill of camouflaging it as and when needed, in order to get on with the job and move up in the corporate world.
So… now that you know what Imposter Syndrome actually looks like in the workplace and how it can affect your confidence, it should be abundantly clear why you absolutely MUST manage it to progress in your career.
To help with this, we’ve created a free download that takes you through the 5 BEST confidence techniques for conquering Imposter Syndrome and taking your career to the next level.
Complete the form below to get it now!
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And remember… BE YOU! We like her BEST!