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How to Battle Impostor Syndrome in the Workplace


Maybe you’ve experienced it before: You have a nagging feeling you’re not good enough at work. You think you don’t deserve the job, promotion, or even a seat at the table. If you’ve had any of these feelings, you could be suffering from impostor syndrome.

The phenomenon, which was first studied in the 1970s by American psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, affects people from all walks of life. Almost three quarters of people will experience feelings of impostor syndrome sometime in their lifetime, according to recent research.

Luckily, there are several things you can do to battle impostor syndrome at work. Check out our list below.

Give Yourself a Reality Check

One of the best ways to overcome impostor syndrome is to first identify the feelings and put them in perspective. Try to observe the thoughts as they occur instead of emotionally engaging in them. Be aware of any triggers such as a tight deadline or challenging project.

Celebrate Your Wins

Don’t let the negative voices in your head get too loud. Try to tune them out by focusing on your accomplishments at work. Celebrate daily wins, even if they may seem small to you at the time.

Make a List

Write down a few things that show you you’re just as qualified as another person for the job. If you’re having trouble doing this, ask yourself if there’s evidence that you’re any less qualified than somebody else doing that work. It may also help to list any skills or accomplishments that make you uniquely qualified for a position.

Phone a Friend

Reaching out to a colleague or friend will help you realize that you’re not alone. More people in your circle probably deal with impostor syndrome than you think.

Use Your Imagination

A great tactic for battling impostor syndrome is visualizing how you’ll navigate a situation before it occurs. This can help you when you start a new job, or even after when you’re showing up to the office. Imagine yourself nailing the job interview, killing the presentation, or having a productive meeting with colleagues. A little positive visualization can go a long way at helping your feel more comfortable and confident at work.

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