How did I secure this job? Do they know I’m not good enough? What happens when they find out I don’t know what I’m doing?
Imposter syndrome can be described as an internal experience in which someone constantly feels inadequate and doubts their accomplishments. The individual feels like anyone could expose them as a fraud at any moment. The syndrome is closely linked to feelings of low self-esteem.
Unsurprisingly, imposter syndrome is rife in the professional world. Even high flyers at the top of their game suffer from feelings of inadequacy. We’re talking the likes of Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, world-renowned poet, Maya Angelou and theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein. If these people can accomplish what they have while feeling like they’re not good enough, then there’s no reason why you can’t too.
According to a national study of 3,000 U.K. adults commissioned by Access Commercial Finance in 2018, two-thirds of women say they’ve experienced imposter syndrome at work in the past 12 months.
Whilst men are definitely not exempt from experiencing imposter syndrome, the study revealed they are 18% less likely to do so than females. Women should not have to lower their expectations of what they can achieve in the workplace just to avoid feeling low self-esteem.
Here’s our top tips on how we can boost female self-esteem…
List all the things you know you are good at
It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 things or 20 things. Just know that these are your skills and talents and you should own them. No one else can do them quite like you and that makes you who you are. Celebrate your uniqueness. Be your biggest cheerleader, no one else is going to do it for you.
By writing down your skills, you will see just how much you are capable of and you’ll start to see what you can build on in the future. This is also a great exercise for building confidence in your abilities.
Put yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable
No one ever achieved anything by staying in their comfort zone. Go out there and find something that scares you (in a good way, of course) every day. There’s no task too big or too small that won’t help build your character and make you the amazing woman you are becoming.
If you try something new and fail… try again. Exposure is the best way to learn. Some lucky people try something once and grasp the concept straight away but most of us need to try it a few times to fully gain an understanding. Keep trying and failing and one day it will come.
Use your mental muscle
Never underestimate the power of mental and emotional muscle – and the process of building it. Just like other muscles, your mental muscles need to be worked sometimes too. For every time you feel low on self-esteem, remember you have a number of tools at your disposal to pick you back up again.
You might not always believe it, but you are stronger than you think you are. Sure, there are times when we need to let out a few chardonnay-induced tears, but you are capable of anything you say you can do.
So on this International Women’s Day, know your worth. You are so much more than your job title, salary or marital status. You can still make an impact while making an income and remember, you’ve got this.
We made 2019 the inaugural year of our ANS Women in IT Campaign to inspire and educate women in our community about the opportunities a career in technology can bring. Watch the video to find out from our Women in IT Ambassador, Beth, to find out what we have planned for the year.