When I was first accepted into my doctoral program 5 years ago, I’m not sure I fully believed I deserved to be there. I remember my first day. I felt intensly scrutinized and judged, and assumed others in my cohort were somehow more capable and deserving of being there than I was. I felt like a fake for not having read some of the authors they’d read and I was convinced everyone in the room knew it. I had Imposter syndrome but I didn’t know it yet.
Fast foward to 5 years later, I’ve come to see that every person around that table has their own message, their own strengths, and their own contributions to bring to the conversation.
Imposter syndrome is the fear of being exposed as a fraud in a high level or high responsibility position. It’s the belief that you don’t deserve to be there despite your competence, your hard work, and the successes you’ve achieved. If you think you might be having IS, there are things you can do!
Here are five ways to overcome the feeling of imposter syndrome and become more empowered and confident it your new job or position.
Be honest with yourself and with others about your limits, and don’t minimize your strengths. Being authentic means being okay with admitting when you don’t know something. Be yourself and remember that everyone has a unique contribution to make to the team including you.
Take responsibility for your choices in life and accept that you’ve gotten to where you are in life. Strike a balance between going after what you want, and recognizing when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Be proud of your accomplishments and recognize the hard work you’ve put into getting there.
Avoid having to justify your decisions or defend your points constantly. Be an active participant, but don’t hold onto ideas for the sake of being right or proving someone else wrong. Your work will speak for itself.
Show Yourself Compassion
Practice self-care and work towards a work-life balance that allows you to take time in your day to celebrate your successes. Treat yourself as you would another person you care about. Avoid negative self-talk or self-deprecating comments.
Recognize and be thankful for the opportunities presented to you. Be grateful for the mentors and teachers that have helped you along the way. Gratitude improves our relationships, our physical and mental balance, and our self-esteem. It’s probably one of the more important things you can do for yourself.
Copyright Authentic World Inc 2020, Michelle Thompson 2020
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Michelle. I’m a postgraduate qualified professional with over twenty years of experience as a group facilitator and public educator. I’ve helped thousands of people re-imagine their lives and create concrete plans for self-improvement. I’ve facilitated dozens of workshops and support groups on topics like stress management, mental health and wellness, goal setting, grief counselling, safety planning, and confidence building. I’m a former social worker and crisis services coordinator, and after working for eight years as a non-profit consultant, I felt a strong desire to return to helping people. I created Authentic World Inc, an international life coaching company that offers one-on-one support and self-directed courses on personal development topics. I also teach philosophy part time at Carleton University in Canada’s national capital. In my coaching approach, I consider the teachings of the modern philosophers of our time and use a holistic method for teaching you how to become more compassionate towards yourself and improve the quality of your life in the process.
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