5 tips for overcoming the syndrome of the impostor

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You doubt your legitimacy at work ? You have the impression that they do not deserve your professional success ? You may be suffering from the syndrome of the impostor, a sign of low self-esteem. Don’t worry : it is possible to exceed it.

By Fabienne Broucaret – My Happy Job

Updated on February 18, 2019 at 17:02


Manuela has got a nice promotion, but believes that it is thanks to a combination of circumstances. Eric has signed a major contract, but repeats that its relations have played more than his qualities as a negotiator. Sarah has won the first prize in a competition for his start-up, but is confident that other projects deserve more this award. “The syndrome of the impostor key of the people who perform obvious, but are unable to attribute their success to the analysis of psychologist Kevin Chassangre, co-author of Treating self-abasement. The syndrome of the impostor (Dunod). They think that if they have come there, that is, by misunderstanding or by chance, but never with their own qualities. These “impostors” are living in fear of being outed, despite objective evidence of success. They feel that they deceive others, to be overestimated. They tend to self-assess, to overestimate the exogenous factors of their success, to minimize their achievements or fear of failure. “

Thus, professional success does not always mean personal satisfaction. “This complex is an exacerbated form, or even toxic, the professional conscience,” added the coach Virginie Boutin, co-founder of Bloom’R, a website to help everyone find a job fulfilling. It is felt by people is often very demanding with themselves, who are very concerned about the quality of their work. “Their daily lives ? A lot of anxiety and insecurity, low self-efficacy and chronic dissatisfaction. Here are five tips to get out of it.

1° Make the point

This seems obvious, but it is essential : recognize that you are a victim of the syndrome of the impostor will help you to combat it. “It is first of all to define the problem in order to give contour and the perspective, writes Virginie Boutin. Ask yourself in what(s) area(s) it binds. Consider then the problems that this presents. If you continue to move forward in life feeling discomfort, fear of being “outed” just after a post for example, it is less disabling that if you do not send in any nominations so the fear is strong. “Get to the point on the severity of your syndrome : to what point you ask ? What is it prevents ? How long can this still last ?

To avoid. “Do avoid the habit of avoiding any unknown activity, prevents Virginia Boutin. Unless we confront the “risk” is, the more it feeds the feeling of illegitimacy. It is a horrible vicious circle. “

2° To silence your inner voice

The syndrome of the impostor is largely linked to your propensity to you talking to yourself. The next time your little voice starts to disparage your capabilities and your results, then shut up ! How ? Reflecting on your successes. “When I was president of the US Ivry handball, a club professional male, in order to persuade myself that I deserved my place, I say often to my RESUME, tells the story of Béatrice Barbusse, sociologist and author of the book Of the sexism in the sport (Anamosa). It allowed me to objectify my skills and feel more legitimate. A way of remembering my journey and everything that I had already managed to accomplish in my career. “Another idea : put your doubts to your loved ones. They will support you and help you to be more objective, to have more confidence in you. “The entourage is a real force, confirms Béatrice Barbusse. Do not be afraid to discuss with them your feelings subjective. They will bring you a different look. “And most importantly, accept their compliments.

To avoid. The self-absorption. If you shut up your sense of illegitimacy, which is very often the case, nobody can guess it and help you.

3° Keep track of your success

Your new best friend ? Your book of successes and compliments. “Accumulate the evidence of your skills and talents should you do a lot of good,” says Kevin Chassangre. Get in the habit of harvesting the feelings of others in relation to your work and make a note in your book. “In the same spirit, each time you receive a congratulations email, paste it in. As soon as the anxiety mounts or you have the impression of being good-for-nothing, go back in your book to make you full of confidence.

To avoid. Focus only on the negative. You still have positive things to draw from your experiences, even your failures !


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