Blog :

Changing Your Mindset Towards Imposter Syndrome

Oct 18, 2022
Changing Your Mindset Towards Imposter Syndrome

5 minutes - enough time to switch off from work and enjoy half your lunch 🌮

Imposter Syndrome is defined as “the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's efforts or skills” and can be experienced by anyone, at any stage of their career or seniority.

That’s right, even CEOs can suffer from imposter syndrome; there’s even a blog dedicated to it on the Chief Executive Group website. Although having imposter syndrome isn’t the be-all and end-all, it can cause you to develop anxiety at work, hinder your progression, and stall new initiatives.

When Orbis first started our D&I journey, we had imposter syndrome in abundance. It was one of our biggest challenges. Deep down, even though we knew that we were making the right choices and inciting positive change, it was still there in the back of our minds. 

When we initially started developing our D&I strategy from scratch, there had been no one within the business to speak up and advocate for it. In our roles, it can be challenging to find the confidence to spearhead new initiatives. It all depends on our passion for driving them forward.

We would constantly question ourselves - Are we the right people for this job? Are we doing the right things? What we’ve learned is that starting conversations, even if it is scary, is the least we can do. It gets the ball rolling. 

As a team, we are still learning how to combat imposter syndrome and support each other, which is why we wanted to share this piece talking about some of the things we do internally. 

We also want to highlight how you can change your mindset towards imposter syndrome by following these simple steps. 

1. Change how you talk to yourself

Imposter syndrome can cause us to talk badly about ourselves, whether outwardly in conversation with colleagues and friends, or internally by criticising ourselves in our heads. 

Changing our language can reduce us spiralling out of control, or paralysing ourselves into thinking we are undeserving of certain things. 

For example, if you’ve just received a promotion and feel imposter syndrome starting to kick in, instead of saying “I’m not worthy of this promotion” you should tell yourself “This promotion is making me feel challenged, which is exactly why I am deserving of it. It will allow me to get to the next step, and I’m proud of achieving this”.

2. Review your goals regularly

It can be easy to forget how far you have come, which is why when you achieve a significant milestone, it can feel like a fluke. 

Checking your goals regularly and setting small, achievable targets can give you the confidence to know that you are evidencing your success, even if that’s just to yourself behind closed doors. 

Being able to visually see how far you've come can help to reduce imposter syndrome, whilst also enabling you to continuously progress without any limitations.

3. Talk about it!

Whether it’s internally among colleagues, your manager, or externally among peers and friends, talking about how you feel is a great way to rationalise your emotions and get to the root of why you feel the way that you do. 

Make a conscious effort to talk about your imposter syndrome, especially if you feel like it’s getting in the way of your progression and goals. 

In summary, imposter syndrome shouldn’t be seen as a weakness, nor should it be seen as something to be ashamed of. Instead, we need to look at imposter syndrome as a natural phase that we all go through and develop ways of combatting it, so we aren’t held back by our rigid belief system.

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