Picture this: You spent the last week completing online training, went out to purchase a nice new outfit after your haircut appointment before your first day, you scan your badge to open the office doors twenty minutes early to your shift in anticipation, you find your desk, you sit down, look around, and say to yourself in a quiet and defeated sigh, “…What am I doing here?”
You officially (probably) have imposter syndrome. But there’s no need to worry. It’s not as evil as it may sound. You may be surprised to find out that a lot of people around you likely struggle with the same feelings. Having these defeating thoughts during moments of success may not be uncommon, but there’s also a fine line between normality and an issue that could directly affect your mental health, job performance, and overall professional (and personal) happiness. In this blog post, we will guide you through imposter syndrome by giving you a few tips to get on the other side of it.
Understanding Imposter Syndrome and How to Overcome It
What is Imposter Syndrome?
The term imposter syndrome relates to the internal feeling of unworthiness or fraud you may feel whenever you are praised for doing good work, start seeing significant salary changes, or achieve success in general that may cause a sense of doubt within yourself.
According to WebMD:
“It’s not an actual mental health condition. But this term (also known as imposter phenomenon, fraud syndrome, or imposter experience) describes someone who feels they aren’t as capable as others think and fears they’ll be exposed as a fraud.”
Often unjustified, these feelings of doubt can easily simmer in the background of your day-to-day work life. Slowly consuming your thoughts, actions, motivation, performance, and much more.
Who Has Imposter Syndrome?
In short — everyone is capable of feeling the side effects of imposter syndrome. No matter where someone may fall on the organizational chart, the feelings can lurk above the heads of everyone from famous founders of massive tech companies to entry level customer service representatives in call centers. Of course, it’s far from a scientific guarantee that you may ever experience the signs of imposter syndrome. But you’re definitely not off limits to it, either. According to a recent study, more than 80% of surveyed workers say they have imposter syndrome.
Can I Prevent Imposter Syndrome?
Because there are very few of the exact same triggers for everyone, it’s difficult to give a blanket answer to if you are able to prevent it from happening. Preventing imposter syndrome could be its own challenge within itself. But there’s definitely a few things you can do in order to avoid it as long as possible that may work for you.
A few ideas on how to avoid imposter syndrome early on:
- Set realistic expectations for your workload
- Speak to your manager to see if they can assist in your concerns and feelings
- Set boundaries in your work
- Always be learning
- Insert blocks of “you time” where you can take a step back and return to your work refreshed
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Know Your Worth
One of the largest driving factors of imposter syndrome is self-doubt. Reminding yourself of the value you bring into a particular role offers great routine to overcome these feelings you may have lingering. You were hired for your position because you bring a specific set of skills and knowledge that the other applicants fell short of. Give yourself some credit where credit is due! Hiring managers don’t often resort to picking names out of a hat in order to choose who to hire. You are where you are today because you’re obviously deserving of success. Don’t lose sight of that!
Change Your Attention
Turning off your brain and all the extra noise it may bring is difficult. Shifting your attention to other things may allow you to stop focusing so closely on these feelings you have and in turn allow for a better-quality finished product of whatever you are working on. It’s a win-win.
So far in this blog post we’ve focused a lot on having imposter syndrome because of the result of success. But feelings of imposter syndrome can show up during moments of professional struggle, too. This is where persistence should come into play. It allows you to stay laser focused on your goals and gives you the motivation to keep standing up regardless of how many times you may trip along your personal career journey.
Persistence is also incredibly useful to remind yourself of the value you bring to the table. Making it a goal to constantly keep up the quality of work you have previously been recognized for. Being a part of successful projects may feel like luck. But as you keep winning in your work life because of the high-quality end product your skills continually keep playing a role in, that feeling of luck should shift into realization. Keep it up!
Continue Growing Your Skillsets
Another way to overcome imposter syndrome is by improving your skillset. These internal feelings of professional skepticism may be a result of not being fully comfortable with one hundred percent of your job duties. Although it’s common to have weak spots somewhere in your weekly requirements, if you find difficulties in some of your main expectations regularly, it can easily turn into imposter syndrome and have you asking yourself if you truly belong where you are.
Taking steps towards improving those weaker points in your role obligations is a legitimate way to arm yourself with the confidence you need to have a stronger set of skills and overcome the feelings of professional uncertainty.
At devCodeCamp, our online coding and data analytics bootcamp is designed for your success. We take adult students who are in their pursuit of a career and give them the skills they need in only a handful of weeks to achieve their goals. But our online courses are also equally great in improving your overall knowledge! In the world of modern-day technology, things change very quickly. Our classes are constantly updated to stay the most relevant with the programming languages, technology, and resources that are industry standards. If you have feelings of doubt in your role and need to take your knowledge to the next level, reach out today to see how we can play a part in helping you achieve that. We are excited to watch your growth!