Minority groups such as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), Latinx, LGBTQ+ individuals, and women sometimes deal with extra anxiety at work. For decades, we have been marked as inferior and told we do not belong in positions of power. Because we are resilient, we never gave up and continued fighting until we had a place at the business table. However, there are still times in which we fight with certain negative feelings. One of those instances is our struggle with Impostor Syndrome.
What is Impostor Syndrome?
VeryWellMind describes Impostor Syndrome as “an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context.”
Put in simple terms, Impostor Syndrome makes the person feel they are not worthy of the role they have been assigned. After decades of being told we did not belong there, it is hard to fight the past and leave the doubts behind. So, the impostor shadow follows many of us in our professional career despite our successes.
The same site lists a few characteristics to understand how this syndrome affects individuals:
- Inability to realistically assess your competence and skills.
- Attributing your success to external factors.
- Berating your performance.
- Fear that you will not live up to expectations.
- Sabotaging your own success.
- Setting very challenging goals and feeling disappointed when you fall short.
Ways to Handle Impostor Syndrome at Work
Those who struggle with Impostor Syndrome know it is a feeling that comes and goes. One day you feel like every success is well-deserved. The next you think you are unworthy of the good feedback you have received. You never know when you will start feeling the self-doubt and there is not an exact cure.
However, there are a few things you can do to appease the feeling. First of all, as hard as it may be, remind yourself they chose you for that role. Your experience, your hard work, and your dedication earned you the recognition that got you that job or promotion. It is important to remind yourself of your worth.
Another step you can take towards fighting this syndrome is finding a mentor who matches your characteristics. There probably is someone in your company in a higher-up position who is like you. Turn to them for guidance and form a mentorship to remind you why you are there. If there is no one above you, find another employee who you can help guide through their professional journey. Having someone who understands your situation is always helpful.
The most important thing you can do is remind yourself of everything you have accomplished. You know how far you have come. The years you spent preparing for this made you worthy of where you are right now. Even though it is hard, pat yourself on the back and celebrate your success.
Remember Your Worth
Impostor Syndrome is something most individuals from minority groups deal with and it is hard to overcome. Entering a world that once closed its doors on us can be terrifying. But you need to remember your worth and know you are exactly where you were always meant to be.