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Member Story: Challenging the Imposter Syndrome

December 6, 2020 - 3 min read

Beth is a Project Lead.

What motivated you to focus on welbeing?

I care a lot about how others think of me. I love positive recognitions - they motivate me to work harder. But when I hear even the smallest constructive feedback, I have a habit of beating myself up, starting to believe the worst about myself. For example, if the audience for an important presentation was a little quiet, I'd spend hours afterwards thinking that I'd done a terrible job. This was hurting my confidence, and I needed to work on this.

What steps did you take to improve?

Through conversations with my coach and friends, I was able to uncover the root cause of these thought patterns: the "imposter syndrome." I feared that I was not as good, smart, or talented as others thought I was. Understanding this was the first step in my growth journey because I knew I needed to address this underlying fear.

I started adopting a “reframing” practice. Every time I started to spiral into negativity, I would take out my notebook and make two lists. The first was all the evidence in support of my fear. The second was all the evidence against my fear. I discovered that most of the time, the second list was much longer. I'd feel much better after this practice.

What was the outcome of your work?

One day, I realized that I'd already listed the evidence against my fear in my head, even before I reached for my notebook. I'd successfully developed an atomic habit! This process helped me become more calm and confident, and capable of stopping myself from spiraling into self-criticism at work.

Any tips for others working on a similar topic?

Awareness is the first and the most critical step. One of the most powerful and liberating realizations I had in this journey is that it’s all in my head. All the self-doubt is just a story that I am telling myself.

It still took me many years to translate this awareness into mindset changes. But believe me, you will get there, slowly but surely.

Published December 6, 2020

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