Some of the best of us have experienced it at times, and felt that our achievements are a fluke or that we are just one conversation away from being labeled as a fraud. From Albert Einstein to American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou to Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes; world champion surfer Layne Beachley; and Business Chicks global chief executive Emma Isaacs. Even actress and director Jodie Foster said she felt that winning an Oscar was a fluke.
But beyond the big names, studies suggest that a great percentage of professionals across all industries experience imposter syndrome.
A recent study from Blind found that more than half of employees at Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google report that they sometimes feel they don’t deserve their job despite their accomplishments.
Imposter syndrome can be damaging for both those who suffer from it, and for businesses. So what can be done to help work environments become places where confidence is built?
We at Fitgenix share how employees and employers, both, can overcome the imposter syndrome at work.
5 Effective ways for employees to overcome imposter syndrome
- Recognize the advantages of being a novice
Start by embracing it, and remove the feeling of “being found out” at work. Let your team and management decide what capabilities you have and accordingly let them assign roles and responsibilities. Keep doing your work with a positive attitude. It will work!
- Focus on ability rather than inability
Don’t think that you are going to fail every task you perform. Focused people do things differently, and this is the reason why a particular employee is known for their peculiar work style. A single talent of a person wins over another who is jack of all trades but master of none.
- Don’t compare
Comparison kills and that applies everywhere. Sometimes, you feel your mind is clouded with belief of being incapable by peering into your colleagues good work and your belief might get stronger if you watch your boss pat your colleague in front of you. This is what you need to handle. Erase your pre-conceived thoughts of guilt and find the better-me in you.
- Seek reviews and feedback from employer
Getting a regular feedback from your workplace always help nourish your career growth. Don’t hesitate in asking for feedback from colleagues, your manager and the management. Requesting a feedback from them is a wise idea to get rid of the ‘imposter’ in you.
- Breath and Work
A timed pause is always effective. Whenever work exhausts you; stop, breath and then resume your work. Mindfulness will help your energy restored.
Unfortunately, imposter syndrome doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all package. Everyone who experiences imposter syndrome experiences it differently.
Here are 5 Employer antidotes for Imposter Syndrome
- Track strength and accomplishments
A good HR team works on their employees’ personality traits database. It is not a bad idea to figure out why certain employees wish to be unnoticed and not lead from the front. A few words of motivation from you will help to build their self confidence and remove the imposter in them.
- Distinguish between a thought and fact
This appears easy but indeed it is not. A good leader inculcates positive thoughts in people; and that willing to do a work is work half done. If an employer helps the employee to erase the pseudo fact of being-incompetent at work, or unable to handle a situation or a project, the latter can develop a positive thought.
- Have a cooperative work culture
People make mistakes. Or sometimes, they do a bad job. When companies create a culture that supports employees regardless of their successes and failures and finds ways to move forward past mistakes with better measures in place to prevent mistakes from happening, employees can feel more confident that a simple mistake won’t mean the loss of their job. Here cooperation is critical. A small workshop can do wonders for such employees!
- Mentorship and re-framing the mindset
Pair up young professionals with older employees who can help guide them through starting their careers. Also, having a role model to act as a mentor who can talk them up when they start feeling doubtful of their abilities can make a huge difference for young professionals.
- Providing a buddy
The concept of providing a buddy for new-joiners or a fresher’s work well. The buddy, who is mostly an experienced person, can assist them as and when needed. Ensure that the buddy selected has patience and is a pleasing personality.
A research by a psychologist Amy Cuddy reveals how Power Posing changes your hormone balance. By adopting a strong, expanded pose for two minutes your levels of Cortisol (stress hormone) decreases and your levels of Testosterone increases, giving you a confidence that you can do it.
Contribute: Do write to us about any wellness program in your company that has led to noticeable gains for your employees, at firstname.lastname@example.org