It’s pretty likely you’ve heard about imposter syndrome, whether you suffer from it or not. The chances are that if you don’t, somebody you know does— but you may not even know it.
As an HR founder, you may be familiar with imposter syndrome from firsthand experience, and you might have wondered what, if anything, that says about you and your ability to do your job well. However, while it’s not a nice feeling to feel like you don’t belong, imposter syndrome may not be as dire a situation as you may have thought.
This blog explains what imposter syndrome is, how it affects HR founders, and the steps to help you overcome it. For further information or personalised advice, contact our team at MindAbility today.
What Is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is a phenomenon where you feel as though you’ve stumbled into your career through sheer luck or a series of events that have nothing to do with your ability. You may feel as though you’re a ‘fraud’, and that one day somebody will figure out that you’re unqualified and will ‘expose’ you and cause you to lose your job.
If you feel alone in your struggle, it’s important to know that others feel the way you do sometimes, even the most successful people you know. Even celebrities aren’t immune to imposter syndrome, and they’re the ones you would least expect. Tennis great Serena Williams has admitted to feeling like an imposter despite her great successes, as has Lady Gaga and even the ever-loveable Tom Hanks.
Why Is Imposter Syndrome A Positive Thing?
Imposter syndrome doesn’t mean you’re unworthy of your success— in fact, it has many positives to it, including showing that:
1. You Are Growing
Feeling like an imposter appears to be similar to mindset theory, a belief that a person’s abilities are able to change. Knowing that your abilities aren’t fixed and can grow with you is a sign that you, yourself, are growing as a person and in your career.
2. You Are Evolving
With growth comes evolution. If we stay stagnant, we won’t be able to move forward in our lives— much like how we can’t stay children forever, we can’t stay in the same role for decades upon decades without moving up or changing course.
3. You Are Achieving
Imposter syndrome may be the one telling you to ‘prove’ yourself by reaching for a higher goal, but when you achieve it, that’s all you. Regardless of what gave you the push, you’ve achieved what you set out to.
4. It Shows You Care
There are five types of imposter syndrome— the perfectionist, the superwoman/superman, the natural genius, the soloist, and the expert— and each one demonstrates that sufferers care deeply about their work.
How Can I Overcome Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome can affect your confidence and your overall self-esteem, so while it’s not the horror you may have thought it was before, it’s still important to overcome it and recognise your talent and hard work. To do that, you need to:
Sharing your problems is a great way to begin addressing them. Whether you talk to a trusted colleague, friend, or family member, their feedback will be invaluable to helping you realise you’re not a fraud.
2. Manage Growth
Imposter syndrome can catalyse professional growth for some. Feelings of unworthiness can fuel high achievement, so it’s important to manage your growth within your career.
3. Get Support
Getting support from those you know personally through work or your personal life is great, but sometimes speaking with a mental health professional can be the best way to go. Doing this may help you to identify why you feel the way you do, and allow you to work on the underlying issues.
4. Be Grateful
Practicing gratitude is always a good thing, whether it’s at work or in your personal life. Take five minutes each day to recognise what it is you’re grateful for, and don’t forget to include your mind for its hard work in getting you to where you are today.
5. Celebrate The Wins
When you get a win at work, make sure you celebrate it! Remember that you achieved your win through hard work and you deserve to revel in it. If somebody congratulates you for a job well done, don’t downplay it but instead graciously thank them (and perhaps pay a compliment in return).
We’ve created a simple wins worksheet to help you celebrate your wins! Simply print it out, and record your wins whenever they happen. When you’re having a poor day, refer to your wins as a reminder of everything you’ve achieved!
Suffering From Imposter Syndrome?
While imposter syndrome may not be as disastrous as you first thought, it still isn’t nice to have that phoney feeling lingering in the back of your mind. If imposter syndrome is weighing you down and affecting your ability to do your job like you know you can, business coaching can help.
MindAbility offers tailored business coaching specifically for HR founders, and our coaching has a focus on imposter syndrome for those who need to conquer this challenge. To find out more, visit MindAbiity today.