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Are you an Imposter?

Imposter Syndrome


Have you ever been for a job or attended an event where you’ve suddenly had that feeling of being a fraud? Have you experienced that self-doubt kick in making you feel that you want to run in the opposite direction? Have you ever felt that you are not talented, qualified, or attractive as others perceive? Well, I just want to let you know that you are not on your own! This psychological phenomenon is known as Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter syndrome is more common than you think….approximately 30% of high achievers experience it, and it is estimated that 70% of adults will experience imposter syndrome at least once in their lifetime.

Actor Tom Hanks said, “No matter what we’ve done, there comes a point where you think, “How did I get here? When are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?”

Imposter syndrome manifests itself in diverse ways, including self-doubt, inability to realistically assess your own competence and skills, attributing success to luck, undervaluing contributions with constant fear of failure with these feelings persist even in the face of rational evidence of success.

It is thought that imposter syndrome is related to perfectionism, in which people feel pressure to perform at their absolute best 100 percent of the time, and when they don’t, they feel incompetent and anxious. Imposter syndrome can make you disregard your own level of competency and make you feel that you are not worthy of success and everything that you have achieved seem small or not important. It is more common in women than men however, it appears that the amount of men suffering from it is increasing.

For some, imposter syndrome is episodical but for many others it is a persistent feeling and a lifelong  burden. These feelings can lead to anxiety, depression, stress, burnout, lower job satisfaction, low self-esteem and many other feelings.

Imposter syndrome is most common in the working environment, it can prevent employees from developing to their full potential and stunt future success. It can manifest in constant self-doubt and fear resulting in not sharing ideas for fear of being judged as worthless or incompetent. This is why is it important that we identify imposter syndrome and help our employees to overcome it.

So, how do we help our employees understand what imposter syndrome is and most importantly, how do we help those suffering overcome Imposter Syndrome?


o  Promote self -awareness

o   Encourage employees to recognise when you’re experiencing imposter syndrome and normalise this feeling

o   Ask them to name their feelings

o   Help them to understand personal triggers the emotion

o   Help employees to understand why they are feeling this way

o  Help to challenge the inner critic

o   Encourage positive self-talk

o  Reframe views

o   Help employees to understand that when things are a challenge it provides an o opportunity to grow and develop, mistakes are how we learn!

o  Seek support to manage negative feelings

o   Encourage those you work with to talk about their feelings with others

o   Advise employees of any help/support they can receive through healthcare providers. If this is not available ask them if they have spoken to their GP

o  Acknowledge what has been achieved

o   Talk to the employee to celebrate their wins and successes

o   Encourage them to create a dedicated space and time to compile tangible proofs of your achievements, such as certificates, awards, and positive feedback

o   Explain that maintaining a record of personal growth moments, highlighting instances where their tackled challenges head-on and emerged victorious

o  Explore Coaching Opportunities

o   These will help employees to;

  • Create awareness through reflective conversations

Challenge negative thoughts through Cognitive behavioural techniques. This may help employees to learn to identify irrational beliefs and replace them with more balanced, realistic thoughts

  • Foster a growth mindset promoting the belief that abilities can be developed through repetition as they become habits

  • Develop resilience. Through coaching, individuals build resilience and learn to bounce back from setbacks without internalizing failure

Coaching can provide a supportive and transformative space for individuals to confront and change the patterns associated with imposter syndrome, fostering a healthier self-perception and promoting overall well-being.

The above techniques provide a support strategy to help employees cope with imposter syndrome. Each journey will be personal and transformative if dedication and practice is applied. It will aid self-validation and a journey of growth and self-acceptance.

Ena-HR and Training can help!

At Ena-HR and Training we offer advice, training and materials that can help employers and employees. We offer a tailored, bespoke, and personal service to each company helping with team building, managing, and developing people.

At Ena-HR and Training we can review your HR practices and processes to ensure that they are fit for purpose and have several courses that may help you and your organisation:

·       Team building

·       Effective communication

·       Giving positive feedback

·       Coaching techniques

·       Leadership training

If you need any support, please contact us at 

or on 07779 788 957


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