Don’t Let Imposter Syndrome Stall Your Success
A little self-doubt is natural, but don’t let it undermine you
If you’ve been promoted at work or have started a new job with greater responsibility, nerves are part of the package. A little self-doubt is natural, but don’t let it undermine you.
Rachel Weinstein, an executive coach based in Toronto, has advice for avoiding imposter syndrome. Her tips are useful for anyone moving up in their career, from retail to healthcare to construction and beyond.
“Imposter syndrome is an internal narrative that says you don’t actually deserve this job, which can increase self-doubt while you’re trying to get your footing,” she says. “To head this off, debate the negative thoughts when they show up.”
Many excellent workers downplay their own capabilities as they look at the challenges of a new position. Remind yourself that your skills are obviously valued by the people who hired or promoted you, and they believe you are ready for this role.
“If you focus on the opportunity to learn and grow, along with the reasons you’re likely to excel, you’ll fuel more desirable emotions,” says Weinstein. “In fact, that optimism and clarity of mind is more likely to lead to better performance.”
A good way to feel settled in a new job is by getting to know the people involved.
“Filling in the ‘who’s who’ can make you feel more in control,” says Weinstein. “Make time early on to meet with managers, peers, and direct reports.”
This is the time to ask questions: What are your peers working on? What are the team’s priorities? How will success be measured?
Be as transparent as possible about your own goals and expectations. These should be shared both up and down the chain of command. Ask for feedback and demonstrate a willingness to listen to it.
10 Tips for Getting through the First Weeks in Your New Role
1. Adopt a positive mindset.
2. Remind yourself your employer hired you for a reason.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
4. Encourage feedback.
5. If you’ve been promoted, discuss the new dynamics with your former peer group.
6. Watch and learn from more experienced colleagues to see how they tackle problems.
7. Identify what’s making you anxious. Write it down and then focus on solutions.
8. Be kind to yourself—mistakes are bound to happen.
9. If you feel overwhelmed, practice deep-breathing exercises or meditation.
10. Celebrate your achievements!
Sources: The Globe and Mail, betterup.com, workitdaily.com