Sunday, May 10, 2015

This Will Help You If You Feel You Do Not Deserve Your Job

You may frequently earn accolades in your job. Your manager, co-workers and everyone in your office may heap praises on you. You may be getting excellent performance reviews also. But in your heart of hearts, you may be feeling that you do not deserve the job. You may also be constantly afraid that someone in your company will find out that you are not fit enough for the job.

Experts have given a name to this phenomenon and it is called “the impostor syndrome”. According to researchers of Georgia State University, even a number of high achievers have this problem. Dr. Valerie Young who has authored the book "The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women" says that those who have this problem may downplay their achievements or accomplishments and may think that if they can do a job, anybody else can also do. This means these people are looking for reasons outside of themselves to explain their success or achievements.

Such chronic self-doubts are common but they may prevent people from taking up challenges. So, they may fail to realize their fullest potential. If you belong to this group also, you may find the following tips useful so you can overcome this impostor syndrome.

Redefine what competence, success, etc. are

According to Dr. Young, how impostors define competence is not sustainable. Likewise, "success" does not also resonate for some of them because of their thinking that they can not be considered smart. Many of the impostors think that they can be considered successful only if they get a "gold medal" or its equivalent for their work. In short, they think that only if they get perfect performance reviews continuously, if they come out with the right answers for every question and if they are knowledgeable about everything in their field, they can be considered successful. There are yet a few others who feel accomplished only if they move ahead without the help of others.

If you have this impostor syndrome, you may require a big shift in your beliefs. This means you must remind yourself as often as possible that no one can be perfect all the time. You must also remind yourself that equating success with not failing or being perfect is wrong. If have this wrong thinking, you will never learn from your failures and may never grow also.

To have this mental shift, you must change how you do your self-talk. Especially, when you encounter a challenge, the dialogue you have in your head should be something like "this is the right opportunity for learning many things." Of course, this needs a lot of practice but it is not impossible to achieve. Once you make this attitudinal change, you can see wonders.

Validating Your Skills

Even Joyce Roche, who was the Vice President of Global Marketing for Avon Inc. had impostor syndrome despite the fact that she had an Ivy League MBA qualification. It is in her book "The Empress Has No Clothes: Conquering Self-Doubt to Embrace Success", she explains how she got over this problem. She prepared a list of her accomplishments and focused constantly on the list. This proved to be an effective technique for surmounting her problem. By adopting this strategy, she could validate her skills internally and for herself.

Fake It 

To get over your impostor syndrome, you must change your body language suitably so you become a personification of confidence. You may have fear in your mind but if you change your body language and walk holding your head high, you can feel as if confidence is getting infused into your system. 

Amy Cuddy gave a remarkable explanation about this strategy in her TED Talk . According to her, tweaking how you carry yourself will help you change the way your life should unfold. She adds that just two minutes are enough for adopting this strategy and raising the hormones in the body so your leadership qualities and performance levels are enhanced. In short, appropriate body language can help you feel confident.

To summarize, it is easy to get over the impostor syndrome if you redefine success and focus on your accomplishments.

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