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  • Lori A. Jazvac

A Proactive Approach to Managing the Imposter Syndrome for Career Success

Have you ever been plagued by the persistent feeling or nagging worry that you are simply not good enough even though you may have achieved numerous milestones throughout your life?

Do you often believe that your success is attributed to merely chance events, luck, or timing, and that you're not fully capable or deserving of reaching the pinnacle of success?

The Imposter Syndrome Touches Professionals of All Walks of Life

Well, you’re not alone.

Maya Angelou, the famous author, has experienced Imposter Syndrome. Statistics report that 70% of high-achieving professionals experience this phenomenon in some form or another. Jobseekers experience it. Professionals of all levels experience this syndrome from time to time.

This thought-provoking topic sparked some conversation at the CareerPro Conference last November.

The Imposter Syndrome is described by clinical psychologists as high-achieving professionals who cannot internalize their accomplishments and have an unremitting fear of being exposed as something they are not – a fraud?

This syndrome even impacts extroverts and introverts alike.

How The Imposter Syndrome Affects Career Growth

In fact, the Imposter Syndrome often affects a jobseeker’s ability to address important conversations during the interview process. It impacts a productive job search, yet equally hinders professionals from earning a promotion, making a career transition, or sustaining career satisfaction.

This syndrome is rooted in a natural response to comparing yourself to colleagues who appear to be “smarter” than you. This syndrome may affect your ability to move forward in your career – fuelling a self-fulfilling prophecy that you are never “quite good enough.” The Imposter Syndrome may even facilitate the onset of unhealthy self-sabotaging behaviours. But you have a choice – how to react and what actions you will take to gain empowerment.

Here are 10 strategies to help you feel empowered:

*Remind yourself of your unique value. Keep a “brag book” of all your milestones and testimonials. Write down what you are good at.

*Practice positive affirmations. Meditate. Think positively and re-shift your mindset to embracing your whole self. Say positive affirmations every morning in front of a mirror. Believe and affirm your own self-worth.

*Reframe your self-talk or inner dialogue. When you encounter that small inner voice telling you can’t do something, start verbalizing every reason why you can achieve your goal, then commit yourself to taking action. Remind yourself of what success looks and feels like for you. We all define success differently.

*Be kind to yourself. Recognize that you may not be able to achieve all that you set out to do, and there are some things that are beyond your control. Set realistic, measurable goals; trust that your long-term goals are progressing.

*Feel the fear and do it anyway. Even if you are plagued with self-doubt and anxiety, the saying, “fake it until you make it” does work. Re-channel the fear and worry in a more productive direction by taking risks.

*Take prompt action. Taking action with small steps when you are not fully prepared will boost your self-confidence. Procrastination increases self-doubt and anxiety.

*Re-channel the focus away from yourself to others. When you re-shift the focus from your self-doubts to helping others, you will feel a sense of altruism.

*Spend time with positive, energetic people. Be selective with whom you network with. People with an optimistic mindset rub off on us. Enlist a mentor for support.

*Stay true to your values. By upholding authentic values – not just in word – but deed, you will act in self-respecting ways that represent your authentic brand.

*Simply accept praise and positive feedback. Remind yourself that you deserve success and have rightfully earned it on your own terms. Don’t try to judge positive comments by others or analyze it for a deeper meaning. Embrace praise objectively.

Acknowledge Your Unique Value

We all experience the Imposter Syndrome from time to time without consciously realizing its occasional grip on our lives.

The strategy?

Love and embrace yourself for your uniqueness, accept your shortcomings, and simply tackle goals with enthusiasm. Change the script that you tell yourself and replace with one that is authentic, open to change, and welcomes opportunities.

If you’re struggling with your next interview or need career transition coaching, contact Creative Horizons Communications.

Visit for more information.

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