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Is your best work, or your next career move being robbed by fear and self-doubt? Have you ever felt like you aren’t capable, or haven’t earned the right to be in the position you are in? Do you worry about whether you are good enough?
In the current business environment where supply chains are strained, inflationary pressures are present and many businesses are going through some sort of change and/or transformation, the need for new thinking and ideas is vital.
These challenges can present a fantastic opportunity to show entrepreneurial spirit to solve today’s problems and make a difference. However, the current environment may also be creating additional stress and anxiety due to uncertainty, and the prevalence of burnout and imposter syndrome.
A recent global study conducted by Asana, for the 2022 Anatomy of Work report, surveyed over 10,000 employees to learn what’s working and what’s not in organisations.
According to this research nearly two-thirds (62%) of knowledge workers worldwide reported experiencing imposter syndrome in the last year, with 42% of employees experiencing both burnout and imposter syndrome at the same time.
Imposter syndrome refers to an intense feeling of fraudulence when you doubt your abilities, accomplishments, or skills. The mind often fearing a moment when someone is going to call you out, realise you shouldn’t be there, or you’re not capable for the role.
Even the highest of achievers and most confident and intelligent people can feel this way. It’s not defined by age, gender, or experience level.
KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Report found that as many as 75% of executive women report to having personally experienced Imposter Syndrome at certain points in their career. The study also discovered that 56% have been afraid the people around them will not believe they are as capable as expected.
Why is this phenomenon so widespread?
If we look at the global external environment since 2020, we’ve spent over 2 years surviving a pandemic, isolating, and pivoting to work from home environments.
Asana’s report found that almost one quarter of workers experienced burnout four or more times in the last year, and 40% of all workers think burnout is an inevitable part of success.
Overwhelm from job uncertainty, increased workloads, and an experience of higher levels of anxiety due to the pandemic coupled with current inflation rates all impacting our daily lives.
With a lack of connection to the workplace there are less opportunities to receive face to face feedback, read body language cues, and have open conversations to discuss challenges outside the zoom room.
The mind can potentially have a field day analysing, overthinking, and rehashing every conversation and scenario of the workday.
“Did I do enough? Was it good enough? What if I wasn’t on point? What will they think of me? Why was I not invited to that meeting? What if I don’t have the capabilities anymore? Will I lose my job?”
The mind is a powerful tool but in some cases self-doubt and fear breed without external validation and connection.
“With fewer opportunities to connect and celebrate success, remote work is intensifying impostor syndrome. Organizations should ensure that work is still being recognized and championed in remote environments on a daily basis, and that new hires have support structures in place to instil confidence.” —DR. SAHAR YOUSEF, COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENTIST, UC BERKELEY (Source Asana)
Imposter syndrome is not incurable; you can become fearless by learning how to cultivate a growth mindset shifting your thinking when flooded with fear-based thoughts and feelings of incompetence. Coaching and training have been found to be two positive solutions to overcoming this fear.
In a study done to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for reducing the imposter phenomenon results reveal that coaching was an effective mindset intervention for sustainably reducing imposter phenomenon scores. Coaching improved self-enhancing attributions and self-efficacy and reduced the tendency to cover up errors as well as the fear of negative evaluation. Training was superior in regard to knowledge acquisition. (Zanchetta et al. 2020).
Becoming fearless first begins with acknowledging when imposter feelings show up, then refraining from allowing the fears to hold you back or derail you from taking action.
Here are 4 steps to guide you when facing imposter syndrome:
1. Recognise when the feelings arise, awareness always proceeds change.
2. Identify the specific fear or doubt you are feeling.
“What specifically am I afraid of here?” or
“What is causing me to feel this way?”
3. Review the facts; feelings are not facts.
“When did I decide that I am not capable of (X)” or
“Where is the proof this person thinks (X) about me?”
4. Reframe the thought process, using the power of positive language.
It can be very unsettling to discover that you’re experiencing imposter syndrome. Given the stigma around this topic, many people might feel like they just have to push through and suffer in silence. You don’t, and the real story is in how you face the fear to rebuild your self-belief. Connection and opening conversations at work are also key. You might even be surprised when you share your experience and people understand exactly what you are going through.
Don’t let it hold you back from your dreams and goals. Get a free consultation with me to learn more about what I can do for you and how mindset coaching can help you to overcome imposter syndrome.
Janel Briggs is a Mindset Coach with a mission is to work with women across Australia and Singapore to ease anxiety, stress and overwhelm to begin truly living their best life. You can connect with Janel on social media via Linkedin or Instagram.
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I had a client recently, who was struggling with imposter syndrome, can you relate?
My client felt like she wasn't good enough for this role and her confidence had taken a hit after some disappointing feedback from a Manager she really liked.
To be honest, her self-belief pillars were totally shaken.
We worked through a short coaching program to rebuild her confidence by reconnecting her to the 8 underlying pillars of self-belief.
Step 1 - We explored her genius zone, the way in which she does her best work, accepting and understanding her strengths and weaknesses
The secret here is to list your strengths and weaknesses, and map it across to your work.
Step 2 - We outlined her values and she did a road map of her past career achievement, while redefining what her model of success looked like.
The secret here is to identify what qualities are most important to you.
Step 3 - We explored her fears and found the root cause of it all was actually that she was frightfully scared of failure. We did a release technique in time line therapy to bust through her fear and we met it with forgiveness and acceptance.
The secret here is to follow the fear.
Next, I suggested she use 5 x positive affirmations to help build confidence at work. A free tool anyone can use and start today.
After just one session of getting really clear on who she was and what she wanted she saw her confidence start to return and her work anxiety lessen.
That is the power of the mind!
Ps. If you want to learn more about the 4-session coaching program I talk about in this blog you'll find it here -> CAREER MINDSET RESET
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Sometimes as career women, we find ourselves at a crossroads: do I stay in this job that pays the bills but doesn’t give me much else? Do I want to spend the next 2, 5, 10, years in the same career? In the same job? At the same company? In the same industry?
Or do I…
What if I…
Is it possible to…
See we think these questions, but then we also find ourselves afraid of the answers, because the answers often mean change, and change often means stepping out of our comfort zones, and stepping out of our comfort zones can be scary.
Have you heard the saying, that there is no growth in your comfort zone? If not, think about it and tell me it’s not absolutely true. Are you REALLY able to grow if you’re staying comfortable at the same time?
Now, you’re welcome to stay in your comfort zone as long as you like, especially if you’re happy with where you're at in your life, work, and career.
But if you want to have more, be more, do more, or try more, then you've GOT to take a leap. And by taking that leap you’ll inevitably end up growing in the process and therefore stepping out of that (career) comfort zone.
I recently had a client who was 25 years old and looking at going to university to study a new career. The time it would take for her to complete her studies would be 7 years, which was obviously a big commitment. It also meant that she would have to step wildly out of her comfort zone and into an entirely new industry, and it was THIS that was holding her back. Not so much the time commitment, but the idea that she’d be stepping out into the unknown.
Whether you’re 25, 35, or 45, we often feel like it's too late to begin or we're too old or there isn't enough time or we don’t know how we could possibly make it work or…
Stop and answer me this: does it matter how long it takes if this is THE thing you've always a) wanted to do, or b) is the thing you want to do for the rest of your life?
It yes, then time doesn't really matter.
If yes, then it’s time to step out of your comfort zone, because if that thing that you want to do will set your soul and your passion on fire, then it doesn't matter how long it's going to take. You do it. You make it work. You ask for help. You reprioritise. You step out of your comfort zone and commit to the next stage.
For me, I spent 15 years working in a corporate career. In my thirties, I shifted my corporate role and went back to study public relations. Not easy, but I did it, because I knew I wanted to change. When I left corporate and started running my own business, it took another even bigger jump out of my comfort zone to transition. But guess what? I found my true calling and passion, coaching other women with their mindset and businesses, and couldn’t be more happy or fulfilled.
Was I scared? Yes! I had many, many fears.
And how did I bust through them? Well I continued to remind myself that the work I wanted was bigger than my fears. The women I wanted and knew I could help were bigger than my fears. They were bigger than staying in my comfort zone. And so it was only by stepping out of my comfort zone that I was able to thrive… and help other women do the same.
So if you find yourself heading towards a career crossroad (or know you’re already smack in the middle of one), I can help. If you’re got that side hustle happening you think (or know) could be something more, I can help.
With my Career Mindset Reset I can help you step out of your comfort zone and get you clear on:
Now will any of this be easy? Probably not. But I can guarantee this: it will definitely be worth it. Stepping out of your (career) comfort zone will bring you closer to your dreams. Closer to the life and business and career you envision for yourself.
So if you have any questions about my the Reset or just stepping out of your career comfort zone in general, comment below or send me an email.
I’d love to help you find clarity!