Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Tips to Develop Confidence

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Do you have a fear of being perceived as incompetent? Do you constantly worry about being found out for not being as knowledgeable or skilled as others think you are? Then you may be suffering from Impostor Syndrome.

Impostor Syndrome is a condition in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud” or “impostor.” And while most people who suffer from Impostor Syndrome are intelligent and have all of the necessary skills to do their job, it doesn’t make their feelings any less real.

If this is you, here are a few tips that can help you develop the confidence you need!

  • Practice positive self-talk: It can be hard to believe in yourself when you’re constantly saying negative things about yourself. Recognize your strengths and think of the qualities that make you a valuable employee – your talents, skills, knowledge, personality traits, and more. Every time you begin to have thoughts like “I’ll never get this done on time,” or “They’re going to find out I’m not good enough for my job,” stop thinking of them! Instead, immediately replace these negative thoughts with something positive – such as “Yes, I can do this task!” You might be surprised by how helpful a little positive self-talk can be.
  • Talk to a trusted co-worker: It can be hard to open up and talk about your feelings with co-workers, but it’s actually beneficial for you. If you have one or two people at work who seem like they’re always happy and positive – start with them. Ask what their secret is behind being confident in themselves all the time. Surrounding yourself with others who have the qualities you desire, and opening up to them can help build your confidence.
  • Create an action plan: An easy way to get started on improving yourself is by developing an “Action Plan” to work on one area of your life at a time. For instance, let’s say you feel like you’re not as outgoing and friendly with co-workers or clients when they first meet you as some other people are. Instead of feeling bad about that, just think, “Okay, I need to find ways for me to improve in this area,” then brainstorm solutions – ex: take the initiative by asking them how their day is going instead of waiting for someone else to approach them first; ask questions during meetings rather than staying quiet the whole time; smile more often. 
  • Practice gratitude: Instead of thinking about all the things you don’t have, practice being grateful for everything that YOU DO HAVE! Write a list every day with at least one thing on it – even if it’s small. It’s important to keep this positive mindset going even during tough times so you can get through them without feeling anxious about your career.
  • Keep track of your wins: A great way to stay motivated is by tracking your “wins” – the tasks or goals you complete successfully. Instead of writing down everything else that didn’t go perfectly (which can lead us into thinking more about what went wrong than right) – write down only what YOU did well. That way, when things don’t go as planned in the future, you’ll still feel confident knowing that there are lots of areas in which you’ve already succeeded before!

If you suffer from Impostor Syndrome, it can be hard to overcome those doubts, but when you build your confidence, you will see that you have the skills and smarts to do whatever you put your mind to! Use these tips to help you do just that!

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