Imposter syndrome involves unfounded feelings of self-doubt and incompetence. According to a report, 75% of women executives experience imposter syndrome. However, the burden is heavier for women to bear. Women’s imposter syndrome suffers from self-imposed doubt and societal forces and stereotypes, which compound and reinforce those negative self-beliefs.Feeling like an imposter creates a professional barrier for women that threatens their success.

According to a study report, men apply to jobs when 60% of their qualifications match, while women tend to apply when 100% match their qualifications. Men and women viewed the same number of jobs and expressed similar interest in them, but women were 16% less likely to apply. They applied for 20% fewer jobs than men in total. In this article, we discuss imposter syndrome and its solutions.

According to doctors, there are five types of Imposter syndrome personalities

1. The perfectionist

2. The natural genius

3. The rugged individualist

4. The expert

5. The superhero

Women’s Imposter Syndrome

Firstly, the Imposter syndrome concept was developed in 1978. The research focused on high-achieving women who experience the imposter phenomenon and believe they are not bright and have befooled anyone who thinks otherwise. Decades of research, conferences, and books have addressed this condition and its impact on women since then. Anxiety and the fear of being exposed as fraud cause internal feelings of intellectual or professional inadequacy and self-doubt. Biases and stereotypes in the workplace can foster and exacerbate feelings of not belonging for women.

It is natural to have reservations when taking on a new role or opportunity. Some questions frequently arise in my mind, such as, “Do I really deserve this?” Or will I do good? Imposter syndrome, the feeling that one is a fraud and their contributions are not valued, can develop for many women who harbor these doubts. For women who already feel like imposters, these assumptions can strengthen their beliefs.

How to overcome imposter syndrome

In order to overcome imposter syndrome, you must recognize your own potential and take responsibility for your accomplishments.  Here are four ways women can deal with imposter syndrome.

  •  B.R.A. Technique– It refers to breathing, relaxing, and allowing. When feelings of imposter syndrome strike, follow these steps. You normally feel relaxed after your first breath, allowing the world to carry on as normal. As a result of this technique, we are more present and better able to listen to and comprehend the current situation.
  •  Make connections: We all need each other’s support; we can not do everything and achieve everything on our own. So, provide guidance and support, validate your strengths, and encourage your efforts to grow. Sharing feelings of imposter syndrome can also make others in similar situations feel less isolated. It also allows you to share strategies for overcoming these feelings and any related challenges you may face.
  • Challenge negative self-talk with evidence: Do not be afraid to identify your weaknesses and areas for improvement. After that, learn more and overcome your fears before moving forward with confidence. Accept your lack of experience as an opportunity for continuous learning to replace self-doubt with self-confidence.
  • 4. Avoid comparing yourself to others: Everyone has unique talents. You are where you are because someone recognized your abilities and potential. You may not be excellent at every task, and everyone can’t do it. It is okay to take your time learning something new, even if everyone else seems to get it right away. Consider developing your interests instead of allowing others’ success to highlight your flaws.

Closing Thoughts

Give yourself some much-deserved grace if you are struggling with imposter syndrome. This type of feeling is normal, and you are not alone. People who believe they know everything may not be any smarter or more capable than those who believe they are imposters. How to overcome imposter syndrome, talk about your feelings with someone close, don’t compare anyone with yourself; and challenge negative self-talk with evidence. Follow the advice of a mentor or trust anyone in the workplace.

Name: Sweta Kumari Panda

About the author: Sweta is an SEO content writer from Brahampur, Odisha, but currently lives in Bangalore. She is doing an internship in Digital Marketing and writing content for the leadership category. She graduated from Brahampur University in 2016 and has a degree in Mathematics (Hons).