Imposter syndrome: 5 Ways to Conquer Self-Doubt and Improve Your ConfidenceJul 20, 2023
Did you ever imagine that once you got to the present stage in your career, you’d have it all figured out? Perhaps you envisioned that being an executive or high-level team member would be synonymous with being your most confident self — free self-doubt and full of inner confidence. However, as I’m sure you’ve discovered, self-doubt does not eradicate itself depending on your status and title at work.
Confidence is one of the most popular topics that my clients will discuss with me as they navigate life changes, job performance, career transitions, and the desire to have more influence among their team and peers.
Moreover, this topic is especially common among my female clients. Research has shown that the gender confidence gap between men and women is significant within the workplace. One study done by two Ivy League professors detailed the magnitude of the gap explaining, “Women subjectively describe their ability and performance to potential employers less favourably than equally performing men. The gender gap in self- promotion is reflective of an underlying gender gap in how individuals subjectively evaluate their own performance. This underlying gender gap proves persistent and arises as early as the sixth grade.”
Below is a short list of some of the main inhibitors to self confidence you may have encountered and explanations as to why they can be huge inhibitors to your confidence and thus, your success, as a leader.
1.Comparing and moulding yourself to others
While you may think using peers and colleagues’ performance and achievements as a blueprint for your own life is the best way to succeed, this tactic likely has the opposite effect. Comparison can often lead to feeling like your successes are never enough. It’s important to always put the most focus on your own journey and use others as resources, not benchmarks.
Comparison can also lead to moulding oneself to fit a perception of what we think a leader should look like. Behaving inauthentically to your true self can diminish confidence as you are never able to step into the power that can occur by embracing your unique strengths.
In the workplace, imposter syndrome is a term frequently used to describe the feeling of fraudulence to earn your position and the fear that others will discover your inadequacy or inability to perform your duties.
According to a study conducted by YouGov UK, “Two-thirds of Britons (66%) say they have difficulty accepting compliments and praise from other people, including 16% who find it ‘very difficult’. Women are significantly more likely than men to say they find this hard – 72% of women say they have trouble accepting compliments, compared to 59% of men.”
3.Stress and Anxiety
As leaders, we can often feel like we need to manage situations far beyond our scope of control. This type of pressure can lead to stress and anxiety as we overthink and analyse situations. Persistent worrying and overwhelm can lead your mind to believe thoughts that aren’t true, including subconscious thoughts about yourself and your capabilities as a leader.
Perfectionism is a trait that someone possesses when they are constantly seeking excellence. While many Britons may not categorise themselves as perfectionists, the same YouGov UK study indicated, “Six in 10 Britons (57%) say they criticise themselves more than other people criticise them, with just 5% who feel like other people criticise them more, and 15% the same.” Perfectionism can often stop people from excelling in anything, as the risk of failure is perceived as too great.
How to reduce self-doubt and elevate confidence
Now that I’ve briefly covered common inhibitors of self-doubt, below are a few of the tools and strategies I recommend using to help enhance your confidence.
Want to overcome self-doubt?
Watch clients testimonials on how I helped to find their mojo back and get in touch
Finish reading this article on our Medium Blog here.
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