Impostor Syndrome - Managing Chronic Self-Doubt
Pervasive self-doubt or Impostor Syndrome (IMS) affects at some time or other, a significant portion of the working population.
A condition caused by a range of factors, genetic and environmental in childhood and and beyond, which when experienced, an individual even with a significant professional academic and practical track record, may repeatedly doubt themselves and in so doing hold themselves back from realising their true potential.
Classic symptoms vary but include: Focusing on what's wrong versus what's right, thinking what one does is too easy, that anyone could do it, thinking it has to be or feel difficult to be worthwhile and feeling that what your doing is never enough.
Steps to Manage IMS
1. Change your internal narrative from one focusing on weakness to one crediting accomplishment.
2. Self-Awareness - Start asking yourself specific questions to better understand specific areas that your self-critic is focused on.
3. Performance Metrics - Agree specific performance metrics with your boss. These will be clear indicators to your actual effectiveness
4. Learning v Performance mindset - Make learning your focus versus results very often beyond your control.
5. Coping Mechanisms - Emphasize feedback from others to provide feedback to validate and support how you 'actually' show up versus how you think you might.
There are many famous high profile individuals that have expressed feelings of chronic self-doubt, even of feeling like a fraud. Know that you are not alone in how you feel.
If for no other purpose, I offer myself as a sounding board for any of you dealing with IMS type symptoms.