Australia’s leading women executives who have battled with impostor syndrome, offer some advice on how you can overcome it.
One of the hardest things to overcome when moving outside your comfort zone is negative self-talk. Telling yourself “I am not worthy” or “I am not qualified” for whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish, is the paralyzing fear that strikes most of us – impostor syndrome.
In the workplace, more women than men are self-described impostors.
Impostor syndrome affects everyone. But more women than men have self-described as “intellectual phonies” according to a study called “The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women.” It theorizes that women are feeling predisposed to experiencing impostor syndrome , “since success for women is contraindicated by societal expectations and their own internalized self-evaluations.”
What can you do to overcome irrational feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy that so many of us experience?
Take an outsider’s perspective
“I can’t honestly say that I’ve overcome impostor syndrome in every circumstance. There’s always someone that I want to be when I grow up! I can ask them questions that haven’t been asked before or approach problems in ways others haven’t thought of. “
Learn by doing
“If you don’t have enough experience, go and discover that you have got some capability and some things to learn! And I meet impostor phenomenon all the time in others. My job is to debunk that and to look at it objectively and not emotionally. “
Check in with yourself
“I recognised the only thing holding me back was myself. It was at that point I told myself to get over it, recognise the value of my perspectives and to believe in myself. I have not looked back. “
Fake it ‘til you make it
“Regardless of your personal situation, rising to the opportunity is as much of a test as any challenge is. The difference is how you approach the opportunity and how you apply your attitude and ability, to not let it overwhelm and to have the confidence and resilience to back yourself.”
Overcoming impostor syndrome may not be easy, but it’s possible. Take any opportunity to also learn from the experience of others – women leaders who have gone through a similar struggle and have emerged victorious.
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