Overcoming Imposter Syndrome at Work | Career Counseling Tips by Leverage Edu

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Imposter Syndrome

People were settling down in a noisy, chaotic space. We were set to begin a meeting. Wednesday was the day set aside just for “knowledge-sharing sessions” for the marketing team. While some of the team members used to like it, others used to use it as a respite from their daily, monotonous work, and there was an entirely different group of individuals who constantly used to find excuses to escape. A room fell silent abruptly, as if on pins and needles. A man who was ready to conduct a session entered, looking dapperly suited for the day. He is one of the marketing team’s most well-known faces. He has earned a reputation for his excellent decision-making, leadership abilities, and commitment to both his team and the position he holds. However, he silently battled impostor syndrome underneath the confident façade.

Undoubtedly, many of you are curious as to how the type of personality stated above may experience impostor syndrome. Having self-doubt is quite frequent, especially among successful leaders, whether it be in the thriving professional world or on the personal front. Discover more about impostor syndrome in the next segment, along with helpful coping strategies.

Also Read: Why Mental Health is Important in the Workplace?

Imposter Syndrome Meaning

It is a psychological condition that makes you feel unauthentic in some aspects of your life, despite whatever success you may have had in those areas. It is the state of feeling apprehensive and lacking interior achievement while having good performance in external, objective ways. People with a condition like this frequently experience self-doubt and feelings of being “a fraud” or “a phoney.” 

Indeed, Imposter Syndrome seriously harms our behaviour, which in turn has an impact on how we behave at work. It is characterised by persistent negative feelings of being a fraud or having our vast shortcomings revealed, as well as the anxiety, nervousness, and dread that ensue. No matter how much someone on the other side likes them or how much they have already accomplished, this emotion prevents a person from feeling competent or confident.

Also Read: Finding Harmony: Coping with Work-Life Balance


We all experience self-doubt periodically, so you should not be concerned if it happens to you. However, if this feeling keeps you up at night with anxiety, it’s probably an impostor syndrome symptom. Let’s examine some further indications and traits of this condition:

  • Self-doubt
  • Contributions being undervalued
  • Putting the blame for success on other causes, like “Luck”.
  • Self-destructive behaviour
  • Setting very high standards
  • Persistent anxiety about falling short of expectations
  • Burnout

Also Read: Psychology Interview Questions and Answers

What Does Imposter Syndrome at Work Look Like?

Let’s examine what impostor syndrome actually looks like at work and how we may assist people in confronting it and seeking support or approaches to overcome it.

  1. Self-doubt: Despite showing ability, many still struggle with doubts about their skills and feel inadequate.
  1. Perfectionism: They hold themselves to impossibly high standards out of concern that any error would show their incapacity.
  1. Overworking: They put in excessive hours in an effort to establish their worth.
  1. Minimise Success: They minimise their successes by attributing success to uncontrollable elements like luck.
  1. Fear of failure: It causes people to shy away or avoid new responsibilities or difficulties.
  1. Seeking Validation: Constantly looking to subordinates or superiors for validation or confidence.
  2. Comparing Oneself to Others: They typically hold themselves in lower regard than their coworkers since they think they are less skilled.
  1. Don’t Like to be Praised: They have a hard time accepting accolades or recognition, seeing it as unjustified.
  1. Hesitant to Speak: may be reluctant to express their thoughts or opinions out of concern that they won’t be taken seriously.
  1. Stress and Anxiety: It causes stress and anxiety and hampers tasks’ accomplishments.

Also Read: Best Time To Do Yoga For Anxiety

7 Proven Ways to Handle Imposter Syndrome at Work

Acceptance comes first and foremost. Recognise that many extremely ambitious people experience this emotion, which is fairly common. In addition to admitting this feeling, let us look at some of the tried-and-true methods industry professionals have recommended for dealing with impostor syndrome at work so that it doesn’t stand in the way of your success and happiness. 

  1. Constructive Self-talk: Refute negative ideas with constructive affirmations. Recall your accomplishments and skills to yourself.
  1. Establish Achievable Objectives: No matter how modest they may appear, set attainable objectives and celebrate your victories.
  1. Seek Mentorship: Make a connection with a mentor or coach who can offer direction, encouragement, and a fresh viewpoint.
  1. Record Your Success and Celebrate: Keep a record of your successes to serve as a reminder of your strength when you’re feeling down about yourself.
  1. Accept Feedback: Accept constructive criticism as a chance for improvement rather than as evidence of your lack of ability.
  1. Mindfulness: Practise mindfulness meditation and give your self-care a priority to manage stress and anxiety.
  1. Share Your Feelings: Talk to a therapist, friend, or trustworthy coworker about your impostor condition. The load can be lessened through sharing. 

Also Read: How to Be More Confident?

Keep in mind that conquering impostor syndrome is a continuous process. To develop confidence and thrive in your work, be kind to yourself and use these approaches gradually.


Q1. Should I inform my team lead I have imposter syndrome?

Ans: Speaking with your manager can help you achieve your objectives and turn them into doable tasks that you can tackle one at a time. Knowing that what you’re feeling is typical can help you put things in perspective. Alternatively, talk to a specialist and proceed from there.

Q2. Sometimes I feel like an imposter at work. Why do I feel like this?

Ans: Impostor syndrome-related anxiety frequently results from a worry about being “found out” or from the conviction that even the most routine actions will end in some spectacular failure. Finally, ask yourself if you feel at home in the environment where you work.

Q.3. How do I handle imposter syndrome at work?

Ans: Here are some tips to handle this:
-Constructive Self-talk
-Establish Achievable Objectives
-Seek Mentorship
-Accept Feedback
-Share your Feelings

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