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Using Imposter Syndrome to Your Advantage

Imposter Syndrome refers to an internalised belief that you’re incompetent and others will notice this and think you’re a fraud. This definition is often applied to achievements and intelligence. It affects anyone, from executives to graduates. It’s also likened to being a perfectionist. The workplace can also heighten the Imposter Syndrome feeling. Adding another layer of unwanted pressure. Leaving you feeling undeserving of your own achievements. But, it might be that these traits, where you overcompensate for your self-doubt, could be making you better at your job. 

There’s no disputing that these pressures can take a toll on your work performance and general well-being. However, there are also some benefits that you may use to your advantage.


But what is Imposter Syndrome?

According to the International Journal of Behavioral Science, more than 70% of people are affected by imposter thoughts in the workplace. But regardless of your workplace setting the symptoms remain the same. People face an overwhelming sense of failure and disappointment. Which can feel isolating but it is more common than expected. 

It’s something more people can identify with, no matter how extensive your training or education some may never feel able to escape their self-doubting tendencies. Sufferers will often have an inability to accept positive affirmations and praise from colleagues and this can leave people feeling unable to reach a higher level of success. 

But with all these negatives there are positives – ones that allow you to use your Imposter Syndrome to your advantage.

Are There Any Advantages?

We’ve compiled a list of four advantages to show how Imposter Syndrome can be seen as something positive:

  • You are more conscientious and your tendency to over-prepare reiterates this.
  • Have stronger decision-making abilities and an ambitious work ethic.
  • You have a clear sense of curiosity and open-mindedness to your approach. 
  • You have a higher level of empathy and compassion – quite often imposters can outperform their non-imposter peers in interpersonal skills

When dealing with these tendencies it’s important to check in with yourself and assess your skills. But, in a way that doesn’t include the internalised voice of self-doubt. It’s easy to justify your achievements as luck or chance rather than accepting your successes and hard work. 

Instead, you should be embracing your strengths. Most don’t realise that a trait people dislike in themselves may be motivating them to perform better. Even if it comes at the detriment of their own feelings.

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