One would assume that an established career would guarantee a sense of self-confidence, but that reality is quickly fading according to research.
Imposter syndrome refers to the feeling of being inadequate in one’s job, despite being qualified for the position.
“I had to struggle with accepting my successes as authentic results of my own hard work,” said Simon Brisk, CEO of Click Intelligence. “It takes a lot of consistent good results to break the imposter syndrome curse.”
Over the last few years, psychologists have noted a spike in those experiencing imposter syndrome as more professionals experience work-related anxiety. With the rise of remote work and lack of instant validation, workers began to question their abilities.
Additionally, as management roles become increasingly diverse, imposter syndrome is slowly rising among leaders.
“Because their workplace was designed by and for men, [it] often alienates womens’ ways of being and working,” said Samantha Karlin, founder and CEO of Empower Global.
“It can impact whether they speak up in meetings, exercise their voices more generally, prevent them from asking for a promotion or a raise, negatively affect their mental health, and impact their retention at the company.”
However, according to Ezra’s Global Director of Coaching Services Kelly Griffith, beating imposter syndrome must start with addressing evidence of success in one’s field.
Griffith begins by asking clients who are struggling with this phenomenon to identify recent feedback they received on a project. Was the response positive? Then it proves that those insecure feelings are unfounded.
“Over time, as employees gather more and more evidence, their confidence grows and feelings of imposter syndrome start to fade,” said Griffith.