Coping with Imposter Syndrome in the Workplace

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong among your peers? Did you feel that they were better than you and more skilled and that your lack of expertise would soon be found out?

You may be experiencing something called imposter syndrome, which is characterized by feelings of self-doubt, depression, and feelings that your accomplishments and skills are not up to par with those around you.

It is estimated that about 70% of people in the workforce experience this phenomenon at least once in their lifetime. If you want to handle this problem in your workplace or in your own life, we have some advice to share with you.

Stop Overworking

Imposter syndrome tends to manifest when people are overworked, especially in a high intensity work environment. Where there are constant deadlines to meet, workloads to handle, and extensive working hours that go beyond 40 hours a week, it is only natural for people’s emotions to get the best of them.

When someone becomes overworked, they may have trouble regulating their emotions. The fears and doubts that they only sometimes feel may rise to the surface and become very strong and very difficult to manage. They may wonder sometimes if they are at the level of their peers, and then they become overworked and have those feelings exacerbated.

It helps to ease the workload or take a break. Give yourself a chance to relax and not work so hard for a while and see if the emotions and doubts start to settle down. Once a person is not so overworked, they may realize that their fears were unjustified and that they had nothing to be worried about.

Relieve Stress

Another factor that can cause people to feel like they don’t belong because they are not at the skill level of those around them is excessive stress. It is said that stress is what you let affect you, and there is a lot of truth in that. Two people can have the same level of pressure put on them, and one may react fine to it and perform well, even as the other may feel very stressed and start to perform poorly as a result.

Like being overworked, when you feel stressed, you may not have your emotions and fears in check. They can spiral out of control and cause you to fear that you are not as skilled or as valuable as your coworkers. Imposter syndrome can set in and create numerous doubts so that you feel it is only a matter of time until you are exposed as a fraud.

The solution is once again to back off the work and just take a breather. Give yourself a chance to relax. That may be as simple as stopping work for five minutes and breathing slowly.

When you are stressed, you tend to think about all the negative things said about you. You may blow some comments out of proportion and read too much into them. By taking a chance to relax your mind and de-stress, you can start to see things from the right perspective.

Give Yourself Less Responsibility

What kind of tasks are you taking on for yourself that you could delegate to someone else? Think of the minor jobs that don’t require your level of skill and training, like coffee runs, office maintenance, landscaping, or other duties. If you need to focus on your duties that you are specifically trained to do, then see if you can get someone else to do duties that don’t require your personal touch.

You might be stressed about how untidy the office is or how messy your home has become. The cleaning up can be given to someone else to do. When you are overworked and have feelings of self-doubt, consider hiring special and professional housekeepers in Queens. Instead of taking on all responsibilities for yourself, you can take some of them to others who might be more capable, like coworkers who can do those jobs that you don’t have time for. If you are able to delegate well, you will stress less and have fewer overriding emotions like fear and self-doubt.

That helps you to accomplish more and think more clearly as you stay focused and on tasks. Imposter syndrome will slow you down for no good reason. Many times, we fear without good cause, simply because we are overwhelmed and feel like we are drowning. When that happens, we will think unreasonable thoughts, imagine that everyone is out to get us, and feel inadequate for any job.

Say Reaffirming Statements

You may need to say reaffirming, true statements to yourself, telling yourself that you are worthy and you are skilled. List your accomplishments to yourself and remember the compliments that have been given to you by management.

This can help a lot, because the stress and fear we have can make us believe things that are not true. We need to ground ourselves in these times and remember what is true by listing out the good qualities that we have. When someone feels like they are an imposter, they can remind themselves that they were hired for the job based on their credentials. They can remind themselves that they have done a good job so far and think about the raises and good reports they have received.

They can compare themselves to their coworkers positively as well, thinking about the areas they excel in. When we fear, we just think about our shortcomings and hyperfocus on them. When we think sensibly and try to ground ourselves with truth, we can think about the good attributes that we have and what makes us special and needed in the workplace.

These are a few simple things that you can do to cope with imposter syndrome. If the problem persists and you are not feeling like any of this is helping or is not helping enough, then you should go to a professional for some counsel. Get psychiatric help to deal with the issue so that you can get back on track soon.