Imposter Syndrome at work and learning how to manage it

Imposter Syndrome has become a buzz word in the advent of the self-awareness and the self-love movement. We see more pop psychologists talk about it, and how it affects the narratives we have of ourselves during work.

So what is Imposter Syndrome, really, and how does it affect our performance at work? Let’s take a closer look. This was first coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes as:

So simply put, it is the belief that we are not good or capable enough even if we already are.

Who is affected? Research shows that 70% of us will experience this at a moment in our lives.

You may be wondering, how is this important and relevant to Rocket Station? According to research, remote workers and managers in a remote set-up are more at risk of experiencing Imposter Syndrome versus other working groups. At Rocket Station, we enhance lives and build better businesses. It is counter-productive for Rocketeers to develop a mindset that makes them feel they are inadequate even if truly they aren’t inadequate. How can they enhance the lives of others if they themselves unjustly feel like they are incapable of doing so? As such, we are here to help.

Dr. Sandi Mann in her book Why do I feel like an Imposter shares more about the affliction and the mindset behind it. It usually stems from people thinking they’re not good enough or that their success is not attributed to them, but by some external factor.

Usually, people who suffer from the Imposter Syndrome/Phenomenon devalue their successes and go onto a negative cycle, thinking they don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved.

How do we manage Imposter Syndrome at work? First you must think about, acknowledge and recognize if you are living with IS. Know that it isn’t your fault and that it is common. Think about how you view rejection and criticism. Try to look at criticism objectively to ascertain if it is valid or not. If valid, try to be dispassionate and learn from it. If it is not valid, defend yourself. Lastly, learn to act confident even if you don’t feel like it.

Dr. Mann discusses further by doing two exercises that can be useful for people living with IS or for managers who are working with people who have IS on their team:

Exercise 1: Acknowledge the Facts

No matter how you view your success, certain facts are indisputable. For example, if you got a job offer, promotion or a high exam result, those factors are facts. Everything else is merely what is viewed about the facts. Look back at your life and write a list of all your successes with the headline: “The Facts”

Exercise 2: Identify Your Strengths

Write down the following:

10 of your strengths, for example: innovative, strong, persistent, optimistic.

At least 5 things you admire about yourself

5 greatest achievements in your life so far

10 things you could do to help others.

Keep these lists close to you and go back to them from time to time.

This March, Rocket Station shines light into self-development and building yourself at work. Being a better leader, a better remote worker, or even just a better person. Sign up in our newsletter for more high-impact articles that develop you into the person you want to be.


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