With an estimated global 70% experiencing impostor syndrome at some point in life according to The Journal of Behavioral Science, the persistent feeling that you’re not as good in your career as other people think you are has nothing to do with skill level or competence, but the impossibly high standards you’ve set for yourself.
With this in mind, Lucinda Pullinger, Global Head of HR at Instant Offices provides five ways on how businesses can beat impostor syndrome at work.
As more high-profile people speak up about their own feelings of inadequacy in the face of soaring success, more are beginning to realise the impact of this phenomenon. What’s more, it can be especially damaging in the workplace and can affect men and women differently.
Over the last 20 years, the number of women-owned firms has increased in the US by 114% according to a report by American Express, yet despite the growing number of female entrepreneurs and major global progress towards gender equality in the workplace, more and more successful women are speaking out about the burden of impostor syndrome.
Despite evidence of success, women experiencing this paralysing self-doubt are more likely to believe they are intellectual frauds. This level of stress – waiting to be found out by peers – can lead to anxiety, burnout and increased unhappiness among everyone from entrepreneurs to employees moving up the ladder.
Tech Sector Rife with Impostor Syndrome
Another informal study of over 10, 000 people by a US-based company, highlighted the significant pressure experienced by professionals in tech-focused careers, with 58% admitting to dealing with feelings around impostor syndrome in companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Uber and more.
According to the study, a high number of employees suffer from impostor syndrome at tech companies Expedia, Salesforce and Amazon at 73%, 67% and 64% respectively. On the flip side, a smaller percentage of employees at Apple (45%), Cisco (47%) and eBay (50%) experience self-doubt.
How to Turn Impostor Syndrome Around:
Even though so many people have experienced impostor syndrome, the good news is that it’s not a permanent condition but rather a reaction to a set of circumstances, unrealistic self-expectation and stress. Some of the most popular suggestions on ways to turn it around include the following:
Accept Praise And Know Your Worth
Don’t shy away from praise and compliments. Accept your achievements and if need be, write them down. When you try to talk yourself out of feeling confident in your role, all the proof is on paper. Knowing your worth means allowing your work to speak for itself and letting others see it too.
Stop Thinking Like an Impostor
Learn to recognise self-defeating thought patterns and replace them with more positive affirmations. The only way to stop feeling like an imposter is to stop thinking of yourself as one.
Don’t Seek Perfection
Stop believing that if you don’t excel at every facet of your job that you’re a failure at all of it. Facing challenges and losses is a key part of growth, so recognise that you don’t have to be good at everything.
Know You Are Not Alone
Impostor syndrome tends to be the domain of overachievers, while underachievers tend to internalise less when faced with failure. If you’re constantly worried about not being good enough, chances are you’re in good company – most successful people constantly over analyse themselves!
Speaking from experience, Jodie Harris, Head of Content & Digital PR at MediaVision commented,
“The feeling of thinking someone is going to come in and call you out on your experience, your achievements and put you in a league much lower than you are currently working at is very real. Impostor Syndrome can happen at any time in your career.
“From being an intern to being in the boardroom, questioning your place at the table can be disruptive to your progress and your confidence. One piece of advice I always tell my teams and myself is that your career did not come by chance, and where you are now and where you aim to be is justified. Know your worth and have conviction with your career goals. Success isn’t a lottery ticket, it’s earnt.”
The Instant Group: Flexible Workspace Specialists
Founded in 1999, The Instant Group is a workspace innovation company that rethinks workspace on behalf of its clients injecting flexibility, reducing cost and driving enterprise performance. Instant places more than 7,000 companies a year in flexible workspace such as serviced, managed or co-working offices including Sky, Network Rail, Capita, Serco, Teleperformance, Worldpay making it the market leader in flexible workspace.
Its listings’ platform Instant Offices hosts more than 12,000 flexible workspace centres across the world and is the only site of its kind to represent the global market, providing a service to FTSE 100, Fortune 500, and SME clients. With offices in London, Newcastle, Berlin, Haifa, Dallas, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, The Instant Group employs 230 experts and has clients in more than 150 countries. It has recently been included in the 2018 Sunday Times’ HSBC International Track 200. For more information, visit www.theinstantgroup.com.
Jakiya Rahman at MediaVision
+44 (0) 208 481 0196