Imposter syndrome: how to keep your self-doubt in check when you’re working from home

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Isolated from our colleagues and the reassurance of the working environment, lockdown has left many of us struggling with increased feelings of negativity and self-doubt. We asked an expert to explain what we can do about it.

The coronavirus lockdown has forced all of us to change the way we work. For those of us lucky enough to be able to work from home, the cornerstones of our working lives – from meetings to conversations with colleagues – have now moved online.

This change in working conditions has undoubtedly changed the relationship we have with our jobs. For many people, the lack of a physical office environment and colleagues to chat to throughout the day has led them to feel unmotivated and deflated. 

For others, problems with communication – whether that’s down to bad internet connection or a rocky team dynamic – has made working from home particularly stressful.

With all of this considered, many people may find their inner critic growing louder as they work from home. Isolated from our colleagues and the reassurance of an office environment, it’s easy to let feelings of negativity and self-doubt run wild.

“Being alone for long periods of time and in confined spaces can heighten negative feelings, thoughts and this can also make someone suffering with imposter syndrome experience a stronger sense of the negative self-talk,” explains life coach Rebecca Lockwood. 

A woman working from home
Isolated from our colleagues, it's easy to let feelings of negativity and self-doubt run wild.

According to Lockwood, our imposter syndrome is worsened when we’re working from home because the subconscious negative beliefs we may hold about ourselves – we’re not good enough, productive enough, skilled enough etc – are likely to feel worse under the current circumstances. 

And when statistics suggest that 70% of women will experience imposter syndrome at some point in their lives, this could be a bigger problem than many of us realise. 

So what can we do about it? If you’re struggling with imposter syndrome during lockdown, Lockwood has three top tips to help you get your negative self-talk under control.     

How to cope with imposter syndrome when you’re working from home

A desk
To keep your negativity in check, start by paying attention to the messages you're telling yourself.
  • Catch that negativity: “Listen to yourself, and pay attention to what you are actually thinking and saying to yourself in your mind. Sometimes we do not even realise how negative we can be towards ourselves.”
  • Ask yourself a better questions: “As soon as you notice a negative comment from yourself, ask yourself a more empowering question. Instead of saying to yourself ‘I cannot do that’ ask yourself ‘How can I do that’.”
  • Have a vision of what’s coming: “Having goals and an intention you are moving towards helps to stay positive and creates a compelling future in your mind at the conscious and subconscious level. This will help you to feel more positive and confident about whats to come and will help lessen any feelings of being stuck.”

To read more about handling imposter syndrome and self-doubt, including how it affects our mental health, you can check out more content here:

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