What is imposter syndrome? How to overcome the uncertain feelings at work?

What is imposter syndrome? How to overcome the uncertain feelings at work?

Imposter syndrome is something that can affect even the best of us, where you question your own abilities, struggle to celebrate your achievements, and even sometimes feel like a fraud at work. If you have discovered that you suffer from anxiety at work, then imposter syndrome may be underlining your insecurities and creating roadblocks in your career. 

What is imposter syndrome and how can it affect you?

Impostor syndrome is a permeating feeling that, despite your qualifications and achievements, you don’t deserve to occupy your role, leading to deep insecurity, self-doubt, and even feeling like a fraud.  According to a 2020 study, approximately 82% of people have faced imposter syndrome related to what they’ve achieved. Researchers found that these feelings can contribute to increased anxiety, less risk-taking, and career burnout.

Living in a constant state of doubt at work may hinder your success, where you attribute success to luck rather than a result of your skills and effort. For entrepreneurs, impostor syndrome can lead to a feeling of dread, where you lack the confidence to take chances. 

So it is obvious that imposter syndrome can inhibit us in different ways, but what can we do about it?

How can you combat insecurity and anxiety at work?

Below are some suggestions for combating your impostor syndrome and regaining your confidence:

1. Identify thoughts and challenge them

Instead of trying to ignore your impostor syndrome thoughts, become aware of them and call them out for what they are. Once you name these self-doubting thoughts, you can begin the process of managing them and actively challenging them.

WeWork’s co-working business spaces offer the perfect environment to mix with other professionals from different industries and backgrounds. Not only will you have the opportunity to network but it will give you a chance to share your work-related thoughts and feelings with others who have probably experienced the same things in their careers at some stage. 

Having the opportunity to relate to others in a safe space is key to questioning those self-doubting thoughts and replacing them with more rational thoughts and ideas. 

2. Rethink what “competence” means to you

Most impostor syndrome thoughts entail the idea that you need to be able to figure everything out on your own and asking for help signals that you’re not up to the task. However, wise people seek information, advice, help, mentoring, and coaching – knowing that they will never be able to know or be everything. They are resourceful and identify what they need to get the job done. Expecting yourself to have all the answers is not so helpful so reach out for assistance from those who can help you get the task done. 

3. Let go of perfectionism

Adjusting your expectations for success can make it easier to acknowledge your accomplishments. Focus on your progress and the process rather than aiming for that elusive idea of perfection fueled by imposter syndrome.  

4. Focus on mastering a skill rather than the outcome

Mastery means striving to get better at a task because you want to see how good you can be. You achieve mastery when you improve a skill purely for the satisfaction of reaching a new milestone, rather than trying to impress others.

When you focus on mastery over outcomes, you judge yourself on what you have achieved. Opinions of others will become less relevant and you will stop feeling like an imposter.

5. Get comfortable with failure

The journey of learning and growth includes failure. But it’s how you react to setbacks that make all the difference. If you learn to accept failures and take the time to understand why things did not work out, you won’t fear them as much. 

Anytime you have a setback, discuss it with people you trust. Progress happens when multiple perspectives are shared. Learn what you can, apply it, and move on.

6. Change your space

They say change is as good as a holiday! Working from home offers plenty of benefits, but it can also feel isolating, and that separation can fuel a sense that you don’t belong and drive feelings of inadequacy. If you find that you are battling imposter syndrome thoughts, then a well-designed and inspiring coworking space away from home – where you can meet colleagues and collaborate in person – can help you change your thinking. 

WeWork All Access and WeWork Day Passes offer magnificent contemporary workspaces throughout Hong Kong and Greater Asia. Work whenever you want from wherever you want! The network and community you can connect with through these spaces can potentially help you feel a greater sense of belonging and refocus your mind on other things. 

Occasional feelings that you are not deserving of your achievements are normal, and almost everyone has them. But when they become roadblocks to your development and career, you need to take charge and address imposter syndrome by thinking head-on. Having imposter syndrome shows that you care. That alone should help you realise that you are not a fake. Real imposters never have imposter syndrome.

Considering flexible ways to work? Learn more about our adaptable co-working spaces designed to support your business needs at wework.hk. Connect with us today to find out more.

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