Overcoming Self-Doubt:

5 ways to get beyond imposter syndrome

By Kristen Glass Perez. Thanks to WomenOfTheELCA.org. Reposting from https://www.boldcafe.org/5-ways-to-get-beyond-imposters-syndrome/

Recently, I received a request from a friend who is an expert in her professional field. She wanted to share that she was quoted in a national publication via social media, but felt awkward posting it herself. She asked me to post it for her.

I was happy to do so. As soon as I posted it, I saw many other posts of strong individual achievements on my social media feeds.

I noticed that few women posted about their own successes while male colleagues seemed to regularly share updates about their achievements.

As I clicked on each post, I began to notice that many of those posting also had their own blogs, podcasts, websites and YouTube channels. There were also a lot of self-authored articles that they posted. In that moment, it struck a chord with me. Where were the posts from the women?

Soon after, I had a conversation with another friend where I offhandedly shared an experience of being contacted by a search firm on multiple occasions to be recruited for a job. I said to my friend and colleague; “I don’t know why this recruiter called me—it must be because they need more women in their candidate pool.”

My friend immediately responded by saying “Wow–you really have imposter syndrome.” Ouch. I wasn’t sure what he meant, but I needed to know more.

Did I resemble that remark? 

After realizing that I had 16 years of professional experience in my field, I came to the uncomfortable conclusion that I just, might, have this imposter syndrome.

According to Psychology Today, “Imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

It describes a phenomenon where people feel that they are not qualified to do jobs that they are doing. Then I discovered that the imposter syndrome topic appears in professional development conferences for women.

In my own conversations with friends, I began to see a pattern of this syndrome. Sometimes it was expressed professionally and sometimes it was expressed personally.

For example, someone with a lot of professional expertise might feel that it is only a “fluke” that she got promoted. Another example might be that someone might feel that her parenting skills were sub-par and her children’s birthday party planning abilities were lacking, even though she had handmade all the invitations (true story). [Read on…]

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