Understanding and Conquering Imposter Syndrome

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Well-Being at Work and in Remote Work Mercer Bradley

Like most employees, you probably have experienced imposter syndrome at some point in your career. Perhaps you started a new job and felt you had less experience than needed. Or, maybe your manager assigned a project you felt unprepared to lead. Don’t worry, you are not alone.  Imposter syndrome is quite common and affects as many as 82% of people.

What Imposter Syndrome Is

Imposter syndrome has three attributes:

  • Believing people have an exaggerated view of your abilities.
  • Fearing exposure as a fraud.
  • Continuously downplaying your achievements.

Common Causes of Imposter Syndrome  

Imposter syndrome tends to show up at certain times:

  • Landing your first job
  • Taking on a more senior role
  • Adding to your job duties and responsibilities

Typical Results of Imposter Syndrome

Experiencing imposter syndrome can lead to adverse results:

  • Having unrealistic performance expectations
  • Working twice as hard to prove yourself
  • Focusing on minor mistakes
  • Lowering your performance
  • Feeling anxiety, depression, guilt, or self-doubt
  • Burning out
  • Sabotaging your success

Main Categories of Imposter Syndrome

The main types of imposter syndrome include:

  • Perfectionist: The primary focus is on the process rather than the outcome. Despite receiving praise, you believe you could have done better.
  • Expert: The main concern is what and how much you know or can do. Therefore, a minor lack of knowledge can bring feelings of failure.
  • Natural genius: You measure your competence by speed and ease. As a result, you feel like a failure when you do not understand a subject or successfully perform a skill the first time.
  • Soloist: You feel you must do everything on your own. Asking for help is viewed as a sign of weakness.
  • Superhuman: Success is measured by how many roles you hold and master. Falling short can lead to feelings of guilt.

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

You can choose among these methods to overcome imposter syndrome:

  • Maintain a positive mindset: Keep track of your abilities and achievements.
  • Research successful professionals online: Discover how they got to where they are and how you can follow their example.
  • Create an action plan: Develop specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) goals that align with your objectives to feel successful.
  • Celebrate your wins: Honor your contributions and results.
  • Share how you feel: Talk with a trusted colleague or coworker or your manager about your feelings and how to resolve them.
  • Find a mentor: Actively develop your knowledge, skills, and experience with feedback and support from an experienced professional in your field.

Would You Like Support During Your Accounting and Finance Job Search?

When the time comes to find a new accounting and finance job in Winnipeg, partner with Mercer Bradley for guidance and support. Use this link to our job board.

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