Do you ever feel like an imposter in your professional life? Believe me, you aren’t alone. I had an interaction with another therapist recently. She contacted me to collaborate on the services that we each provide with a shared client. I know that collaboration is such a beautiful thing because you can learn and find new ideas for supporting clients. Yet, when she first reached out, I went into a shame spiral with imposter syndrome. My automatic thought was that I had done something wrong and she wanted to talk to me in order to call me out. These thoughts burdened me for a couple of days. However, when I finally talked to her, it was a fantastic call. She thanked me for the work that I was doing and gave me insight that will help me in doing an even better job. There was absolutely no judgement, just appreciation for the work that we were each doing.
You may feel like an imposter in your professional life because you believe that you are an intellectual fraud and fear being recognized as an imposter.
So, why did I feel like an imposter when I love the work I do and I am continually working to improve myself to improve personally and professionally? Dr Pauline Clance studied imposter syndrome and found that when people feel like an imposter in their professional life there is a pervasive psychological experience in which people believe that they are intellectual frauds and fear being recognized as imposters. Many people also experienced anxiety and fear of failure. Just because you understand imposter syndrome doesn’t mean you’re completely immune to it. I even teach a workshop on understanding it and how to become better because of it.
70% of people have suffered from imposter syndrome
The reality is that most of us experience imposter syndrome at various times. When you feel like an imposter in your professional life, you’re not alone. In fact, a Twitter poll found that 87% of people have experienced imposter syndrome and a 2007 study by Gravois found that 70% of people have suffered from feelings of being an imposter!
I would venture to guess that most people who experience imposter syndrome are actually doing just fine in the work that they do. That’s why my colleague, Melissa Shaw from Knot Therapy and I created our own workshop for entrepreneurs and professionals who struggle with imposter syndrome. We have led workshops for female entrepreneurs from various industries and real estate agents from a local brokerage.
It’s not just luck that has gotten you to where you are
When you start to feel like an imposter in your professional life, you can create a story about how you’ve been “lucky.” That takes away from all that you’ve done to earn your position and your imposter syndrome is ramping up, so it’s time to do work. This is such important work for professionals because if we don’t address our feelings of inadequacy, they can build. Not only that, but many people say that it is “just luck” that has gotten them to where they are today. Acknowledging our hard work and our unique strengths can help us to overcome the feelings of not being as good as others or not being enough.
Use Your Experience From When You Feel Like An Imposter in Your Professional Life to Help Your Employees
If you or your employee feel like an imposter in your professional life, overcoming these feelings in the workplace is important to the success of a business because the confidence of employees increases. When employers provide workshops for their employees of this type, it also increases retention because most millennials are looking for employers that value their development. According to Forbes, 86% of respondents in one study said that they would change jobs if it meant more opportunities for professional development.
Even if you’re self-employed, continually engaging in personal and professional development will decrease burnout and increase efficiency. So, if you’re anything like me, you may experience imposter syndrome at times, but you can quickly reframe a situation and find that you have a unique set of skills or strengths that make your role important. You don’t need to feel like an imposter in your professional life.
Are you ready to work on the reasons that you feel like an imposter in your professional life? Reach out!
- We offer support groups, workshops, and wellness retreats in addition to mental health counseling and therapy. You can find more details at www.tribemindbody.com/events