Have you ever thought that your current success is solely due to sheer luck and never your hard work? If the thought occurs so often that it makes you anxious, you may have impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is a thought pattern that causes even outstanding professionals to assume they do not deserve their achievement. Allowing such emotions to develop might be affecting your career negatively, along with your mental wellbeing.
How Impostor Syndrome Affects Your Career
Impostor syndrome is frequently associated with psychological conditions such as anxiety, stress, and poor self-esteem, a research suggested. When left unaddressed, these traits could spiral into something bigger that affects overall performance. Poor self-esteem can harm your growth opportunities as it restricts your readiness to fight for yourself. If you are unsure about your self worth, you are less likely to feel deserving of a promotion or a raise.
People with impostor syndrome might find it difficult to ‘sell’ themselves because they continuously doubt their own worth. The main point is that you must consider whether your perspective of your competence is impeding your career advancement. Although impostor syndrome is not a recognized disease or disorder, it needs to still be anticipated as it can hamper your career. If you want to examine whether you suffer from this syndrome or not, you can try the Clance Impostor Phenomenon Scale (CIPS) created by Dr. Pauline Clance.
Focusing on yourself is not selfish
It is good to have mentors and friends you can look up to sometimes. However, note that you should not base your success on the standard of others. One of the most common signs of impostor syndrome is fixing your vision towards others and ending up imposing them. The truth is, you should focus on yourself; it is not selfish to do so. You are running in your own race at your own pace. Avoid comparing yourself to others. You will be more self-assured if you can focus on performing the finest work you are capable of rather than concentrating on what others are capable of.
Reframe your perspective
Another noticeable symptom of impostor syndrome is constantly seeing things from a negative perspective. It is easy to get lost in your bad thoughts if you are constantly inclined towards a pessimistic vision. To overcome this, reframe your perspective. You can do this by writing down positive affirmations, such as jotting down your achievements, big or small, for the past year. Oftentimes, you do not realize that you have accomplished many things until you start writing things down. Once you shift your attention away from negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones, your confidence will increase. Doing this activity will also allow the creation of a useful resource that you may refer to anytime you are feeling obsessed about your flaws.
You are prone to slip into the illusion of believing you are an impostor with no sense of self if you focus on perfection. There is no such thing as unstoppable perfection throughout one’s career. It is essential to understand that making mistakes or failures does not automatically define you as a loser. Growth does not always come in silky roads; you are going to make mistakes and it will be challenging. The good thing is, it is completely okay to have flaws in your growth. Instead of focusing on your failures, focus on your main goal, which is growth. Do not let one mistake nullify all of your achievements.
Seek for support
If you are feeling so miserable and unable to find the way out, then seek advice from a friend or a trusted adviser. Sometimes the simplest way to relieve stress is to release it, which means talking it out with others. Engage in a discussion to express your emotions of inferiority. Yes, it might seem unusual to pour your mental distress on someone else. However, allowing someone else to listen to you may be therapeutic, and you may even receive comfort you did not even know you needed.
You are vulnerable to feel undeserving of things when anxiety is taking control of your mind. If you let it control your overall emotion, your career can be at stake. Remember that the position you are in right now is the result of your hard work. Realizing that you did well, although not flawlessly, will make it easier for you to do better each and every day. Pat yourself on the back; you deserve this and you are worth it.