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Fighting off imposter syndrome

Do you ever doubt yourself at work, worrying that a co-worker or client will expose your incompetence? Do you worry that you're not up to the challenge of your position, despite your good grades or strong previous performance? Do you doubt your accomplishments, attributing your success to "luck" or "good timing?" These feelings of self-doubt are known as "Imposter Syndrome." While it is natural for you to take your work seriously, imposter syndrome can take a toll and lead to self-sabotage, job dissatisfaction, and intense fear of failure.

Tips for fighting off imposter syndrome:

1) Normalize it. Up to 70% of the population will experience imposter syndrome at some point. It is common for us to feel anxious and stressed about our work performance at times, and imposter syndrome is especially common among women, high performers, and minorities. You aren't alone.

2) Find the facts. How are you performing on the key deliverables for your role? What kind of feedback have you gotten from your supervisors and co-workers? What evidence does this give you about your performance in your role? Positive feedback can help you reframe negative thought patterns. For example: "I shouldn't need to ask for help" can become "I've done similar tasks successfully before. If I get stuck, I can figure out what to do."

3) Voice your fears. You may find it helpful to chat with your concerns with a trusted colleague, mentor, friend, or a professional career counselor. Friends and mentors can share their personal experiences with feeling like an imposter, and mentors can provide feedback on navigating the unique corporate culture at your organization. A career counselor can help you own you career story and accomplishments, and gain confidence in your skills and abilities.

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