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Promoted and not sure if you can do the job? That’ll be imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome. The imposter phenomenon. Whatever you call it, there are one million searches globally every month from people looking to know what it is, if they have it and how they can overcome it. It’s a feeling that you’re not good enough, and that you’re going to be ‘found out’. If you thought you were alone, you’re not.

Promoted and not sure if you can do the job? That’ll be imposter syndrome. Taking on a new client, a tough negotiation, an important project – most people will suffer from this phenomenon at some point. It’s more common than you think, with one study concluding 70% of us have suffered with it at one point or another.

It can affect us in a variety of ways and each person will have different symptoms, from anxiety to depression, to shying away from a promotion and high levels of self-doubt. Plus, people can tend to hold back, making them come across as aloof or unfriendly, when all they are really feeling is that if they get too close, they’ll be found out.

Here are seven things you can do to overcome imposter syndrome, and then let’s talk about embracing it – and why we should.

  • Remind yourself of the facts. Salesperson selling well and beating your targets? This is your fact.
  • Find a way to share it with others. A mate down the pub might say, ‘I read about this imposter syndrome’ and another mate replies: ‘I think I might have that’. ‘Me too!’
  • Celebrate your success. If you did something well, tell people and they’ll celebrate with you.
  • Recognise that you’re chasing perfectionism and, on some things, stop. Sometimes it is simply ‘good enough’.
  • Identify when the doubts rear their head the most and aim to change when it happens.
  • Share your failures, because others will never be as hard on you as you are on yourself.
  • Embrace it. Imposter syndrome has a key advantage: it drives you to be better. When others think something went well, you will think ‘how can I improve?’

Yes, that comes with its downsides, but it also comes with a desire to be the very best version of you, and being that person is so worth having.

Embrace your imposter and be fabulous!