Imposter syndrome is such a common byproduct of entrepreneurial life. Especially for women (surprise!). We all have it. For those of you lucky enough not to know what it is, it’s a concept characterised by an inability to internalise one’s accomplishments leading to a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud (thanks Wikipedia!). Basically it’s that that nagging feeling that we’re just winging it and hoping no one is on to us. But actually, oftentimes we not “just winging it” – our confidence is messing with us and we’ve forgotten how badass we actually are at this job and how far we’ve come. It’s a matter of confidence, not ability. One way of getting your confidence in check at these times is by drawing your attention back to your success and achievements, and realising that they were no accident, my friend. Far from it.
In Refinery29’s new career column “Advice from A Nice Girl”, Fran Hauser (author of the book The Myth Of The Nice Girl) tackles imposter syndrome in the first installment for a reader who feels like “a child wearing adult clothes” in the workplace. Shamelessly stealing Fran’s advice to this reader, here are some tricks to keep your imposter syndrome at bay through purposeful self-reflection resulting in evidence-based confidence. When self-doubt creeps in, ask yourself:
- When have I done something difficult . . . and survived?
- When have I made wise choices?
- When have I done something that has created value for the company I work for, and how did I feel after that happened?
- When was the last time I felt really good about my contribution to a project?
Reframe your thinking using the above to realise that you ain’t no imposter and, instead, grow your confidence. Avoid relying on others to validate you (they’re probably going through the same self-doubt anyway) – you know your worth so start actively realising it and banish the imposter.
It’s always helpful to know that we’re not alone with these impostorous feelings, and sometimes it’s good to surround yourself with people, not only with similar experiences, but with inspirational words of advice to help you on your way. LDC strives to create not only a resource-sharing community, but also an experience-sharing community through uniting independent designers (oftentimes working alone) at their concept stores, and also the public through their networking events and in-store experiences. We love to connect people and create a mutually empowering community. So, if you’re up for a little mutual empowerment, please join us at our second Female Empowerers & Entrepreneurs: Presentations & Networking evening on 29th May, at Natwest’s Liverpool Street HQ. More info here
Fran’s full article is well worth a read (http://www.refinery29.uk/imposter-syndrome-advice) and we can’t wait for more from her career column!
And a cheeky thank you to Women Who for alerting us to this article via their unmissable newsletter.
*GIF from Refinery29 online