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Imposter syndrome is an extremely common psychological pattern that affects even the most influential people in our lives. So what is Imposter syndrome? and how does it manifest? According to Dictionary.com, imposter syndrome is “anxiety or self-doubt that results from persistently undervaluing one’s competence and active role in achieving success, while falsely attributing one’s accomplishments to luck or other external forces.”
The tips that we are going to explore below were personally used by me, and helped me establish comfort in my position within my career in cancer research. This industry will have you rubbing elbows with physicians, and multiple pharmaceutical companies with years of experience! This is strictly my experience, and should not be taken as a strict template to overcome your personal journey.
As with any career (or personal life), imposter syndrome is a real threat to our productivity. So this is how I overcame it.
Acknowledge the feeling
One of the most difficult and painful ways to overcome a negative mindset is to face it head on. this is the same for imposter syndrome. There is a very distinct feeling that is associated with feeling fraudulent in your specialty or talent. It may manifest as fear, or discomfort when performing your everyday tasks.
While it does cause a little stress, the best way to ease imposter syndrome is to own it. knowing what it is that you are experiencing can very well ease the feeling of angst. Below are some ways to acknowledge that you may be experiencing imposter syndrome.
Find the source
Can you identify how you came to develop doubt in your worth within your industry? Maybe it was through a small failure, or something that you were told. Finding the source of your discomfort is helpful in that it allows the opportunity to free yourself from the chains of imposter syndrome.
Finding the source gives you back the power, and allows you to regain control of your mental state. its an essential second step in fighting imposter syndrome, because once you know what causes your decline in confidence, you can now begin to work around that trigger, and even distance yourself from it!
After you have identified the source, it is time to put in the work. This process is not completely mental. The next step is to take control of your confidence! how do we go about doing this?
– I invested in this productivity guide that shares secrets to boosting your confidence via gaining multiple successes that lead up to an overall goal. Investing in yourself is one of the most beneficial things that you can do to overcome a slump in your self esteem!
– work on your overall craft
– focus most of your energy toward your weakest skill. the more you practice, the better that you will eventually get. I found comfort in a great E -book that focuses on building profitable skills.
– be patient while cultivating your craft.
Authentic improvement takes time, and will not always be easy. being realistic in your progression will ensure that you wont spiral back into doubting yourself, should you not succeed according to your original timeline.
Cut out the noise
While working on your craft, you are going to feel vulnerable at times. If what you are doing is worth it, it will not be easy by any means; and you should not expect ease when working to better yourself. It is imperative that you use this time to focus. focus on you and you only. do not allow people to infiltrate your space and disrupt your energy while fighting imposter syndrome. Two ways that people will inadvertently disrupt your focus:
– Distractions: while it may be nice to receive an invitation for drinks with friends, it may need to take a back seat until you are feeling good within yourself. if your relationships are authentic, then your friends will want you to succeed in beating imposter syndrome.
– Opinions: It is not rude to bar unsolicited advice from your peers. What is rude, is having opinions given when not asked for, in an attempt to have things done in a way that does not align with your original goal. There is no reason to amend the trajectory of your progress for your peers.
The last step in overcoming self doubt is being open. This can sometimes be the scariest part of recovery, but can also be the most beneficial. By being open, and sharing your story with others, you allow people to identify imposter syndrome within themselves. Sharing your story with others opens up the lines of communication so that our peers can also overcome self doubt.
Now that we know what imposter syndrome is, and how to identify it, we are equipped to overcome feelings of doubt in our careers and personal lives. The tips provided above are what helped me feel comfortable in my place within my career, and I hope it provides some insight into navigating feelings of self doubt.Have you ever encountered imposter syndrome? How did you cope with it?
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