Do you feel like a fraud?
How to get rid of Imposter Syndrome once and for all
By Fiona Clark, Career Coach and Founder of Inspired Mums
Have you ever felt as though it’s only a matter of time until you are “found out” at work? Do you doubt your own ability and put it down to being in the right place at the right time? If so you’re not alone, as shown by Michelle Obama recently, when she said, “I still have Imposter syndrome, it never goes away….that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously.”
Imposter syndrome – those feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success – is particularly common amongst mums. So as a career coach who is passionate about helping mums reach their full potential, I wanted to share my expert advice on how to get rid of imposter syndrome once and for all:
- Face your fears
As Michelle Obama so clearly demonstrated, even the most successful people in the world suffer from self-doubt at one time and another. The secret to boosting your confidence is to silence your inner chatter – that negative voice in your head – that tells you why you don’t deserve your success. A powerful way to do this is to write a list of all your concerns and then find a counter argument for each of them. For example if one of your fears is “I’m doing a bad job at work and at home”, counter it by saying, “Being a working mum makes me more fulfilled and productive.”
- Look on the bright side
Research shows that being optimistic increases your sense of well-being and reduces your stress levels. So whenever possible, be a glass half-full person. Remind yourself of what’s great about you, your work and your home life. Try to avoid black and white thinking – after all life is rarely clear-cut. Instead of feeling guilty about being a working mum, be proud that you are a positive role model for your children. By flipping any negatives into positives in this way, you will unlock your self-confidence and feel that your success is well deserved.
- Tell yourself that ‘good is good enough’
Perfectionism and imposter syndrome often go hand in hand. As mums we are often our own worst enemy – setting ourselves ridiculously high standards. So give yourself a break and remind yourself that good is good enough. No one can be at the top of their game all of the time – so give yourself permission to drop the ball on occasion. I often tell clients to imagine what advice they would give their best friend in a similar situation and then follow it themselves.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on from time to time, so find someone who can be a reliable sounding board. This could be a trusted friend, colleague or coach. Remember a problem shared really is a problem halved. Just by voicing your concerns out loud and asking for support whether it’s career advice or practical help at home, you will be well on your way to getting rid of imposter syndrome once and for all.
If you would like a free consultation with Fiona to talk about how she can help you find a fulfilling and family friendly role, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07789 597209.
Looking for more career & confidence advice? Download Inspired Mums’ free e-book, “For mums stuck in a career rut – 8 steps to finding work you love” on www.inspiredmums.co.uk.