Understanding & overcoming imposter syndrome

Do you suffer from imposter syndrome, plus which industries are most affected?

Imposter syndrome is defined as “the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.”

It’s such a common phenomenon that almost 40% of UK employees may be affected. What’s more, a small number (2%) constantly experience such doubts.

Employees generally say they’re unsure they’re able to ‘fulfill all of the requirements of their current jobs.’

Certain professions experience this more often. For instance:

  1. Creatives, including artists and designers (52%)
  2. Finance professionals (47%)
  3. PR, Media, and Marketing employees (46%)
  4. Doctors, Nurses, and Dentists (44%)
  5. And IT professionals (43%)

Conversely, the professions exhibiting the greatest confidence levels include:

  • Sales professionals (78%)
  • Plumbers, electricians, and builders (72%)
  • And retail employees (68%)

In addition to these professional divides, men are more confident in their abilities than women (67% of men say they’re 100% confident in their abilities, versus only 58% of women). Older employees also express the greatest confidence levels (88% for over 65s versus 57% for 18 to 24-year-olds).

Job security fears are additionally causing some concern:

  • Only 54% of employees feel fully secure in their work.
  • 24% cite recent industry job losses as the reason for this, alongside:
  • A ‘competitive job market’ (17%)
  • And the effects of Brexit (14%)

How to overcome your imposter syndrome…

Considering its prevalence, it’s no wonder that this is such a popular topic. Thankfully, this also means there’s a lot of advice out there regarding how to overcome this affliction. Some of our favourite articles include:

  • Scott H. Young’s post on Medium. It’s a 7-minute read described as ‘a guide to living with the fear of not being good enough’. It explores some of the causes of the syndrome alongside some steps you can take to beat it.
  • Forbes’ 15 ways to overcome the syndrome. As the name suggests, this is a highly practical and tip-filled feature.
  • Mindful’s article, which includes a brief TedEd video alongside three simple steps.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your imposter syndrome with your friends and family. It really will help you to see how common this issue is.

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