Have you ever worried that you are not actually good enough to do the job you were hired to do? Does your new challenge project at work have you terrified someone will discover they should have picked a coworker to run it instead – even though you asked to be considered?  It’s likely you are struggling with Imposter Syndrome. And you are not alone. 

Feelings of imposter syndrome are particularly applicable in industries or business where you feel underrepresented by your gender, your race or your sexual expression. 

Some common symptoms of Imposter Syndrome include:

  1. A sense of being a fraud.
  2. A fear of being discovered.
  3. Inability to accurately describe your skills and abilities.
  4. Attributing your success to external factors. 

And while statistically most people experience this type of self-doubt, women commonly still feel this most acutely. Women are often underrepresented in their workspaces, the boardroom and in C-suites.

By pure bell curve, there are statistically more men in leadership roles than women. This lack of representation is often very hard with women or other underrepresented communities. As we look around at our coworkers and bosses and see no one that looks like us, our internal voice might already be asking, “Why me? Do I really fit here? I CAN really do this job well, right?” 

The good news is that there is hope for you and all of us (as it is most of us) that feel like youYou are not alone in these feelings. Part of overcoming imposter syndrome is learning to remind yourself that while you might be rare in your field, you are there. And you deserve to be there.

Tips to deal with Imposter Syndrome:

    1. Never discount the accomplishments that you have made and achieved, even if statistically you are underrepresented in the spaces you are moving through. 
    2. Seek to have a healthy sense of your own personal story. Know where you came from, and what you have already overcome. Learn to take those pieces of your story and create a cohesive response to fight the voice in your head when you feel “I’m not fit to be here!”   
    3. Focus on the value you can bring. You may be among only a handful of the only women on your floor or in your industry, but chances are, there are reasons that  you still bring value to your organization.

WLI covers other helpful topics in our Career Development Series.