Do these scenarios sound familiar: second guessing your decisions all of the time, feeling like you’re simply filling a quota at work, and constantly checking and re-checking your work? An estimated 70% of people will suffer from impostor syndrome at some point during their lives, and it can affect you in more ways than you might think.
American psychologists, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, coined the term impostor syndrome back in 1978. They described the condition as, “phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative, despite evidence of high achievement”.
For writer and blogger Stephanie Yeboah, she recognises her impostor syndrome creeping in when she avoids attention in the workplace, fails to set workload boundaries or overcompensates by staying late at the office – but she’s invented ways to curb it.
Here are a few novel ways to prevent impostor syndrome from holding you back in your social life and career.
1) Own your successes
“Competence bears little resemblance to confidence. It’s only when you’re aware of how good you are that you become more confident,” Yeboah explains.
“My favourite tip for increasing that awareness is to create a success log on a daily basis – preferably at the end of the day. Simply write down everything that you’ve been proud of that day, and all of the situations that you’ve handled well.
“You’ll soon see how even small successes, when recorded and reviewed, begin to change your mind-set regarding positive thoughts.”
2) Keep a compliments file
“I started this earlier this year and it’s been absolutely amazing,” she says. “Anytime I get a lovely comment on my social media channels or my blog, I store it away by putting it in a file on my laptop. So that any time impostor syndrome starts to creep in and I feel like a fraud, I just go into that folder and read all of the lovely comments that people have said about me.”
3) Stop downplaying your achievements
“Don’t minimise or dismiss compliments by attributing your successes to outside factors or people,” she says. “If somebody gives you a compliment just say ‘cheers fam!’ and keep it moving.”
Watch our video above for Yeboah’s tips, and you can read more here on how three women deal with impostor syndrome in the workplace.