Imposter syndrome: what it is and how to combat it – advice from Inspiring Interns

Guest BloggerFinal Year, First Year, Graduates, Postgraduate, Second Year

Imposter syndrome is having feelings of self-doubt in your abilities and talents. You may be struggling with the idea that you’re simply not good enough or that you’re going to fail – but the reality is most likely extremely different. Despite the evidence that you’re intelligent talented and skilled, you may be constantly bombarded with fears of feeling like a fraud.

Did you know that even A-lister celebrities suffer from imposter syndrome too? So, it’s fair to say that you’re not alone.

If you’re currently on the lookout for a graduate job, you may be filled with dread at the prospect of stepping into a brand-new environment and ‘tricking’ people that you’re good enough for the role.

Here are some top tips on overcoming imposter syndrome:

Know the signs

You may have been suffering from imposter syndrome for so long that you don’t even recognise the key signs of what to look out for. Some aspects to look out for include:

  • Struggling to accept compliments and praise
  • You apologise without reason
  • You strive for perfection
  • You find the fear of failure terrifying
  • You worry about being good enough

Envision success

Most of the time, we prepare for failure by focusing on what could go wrong. However, why not try changing your mindset to what may go right? This is a tactic that is taught to the military to understand how they will react in situations to accomplish a goal. By filling yourself with dread before a situation has even occurred, you will only cause yourself greater stress and anxiety which could otherwise be avoided. Practice retaining a positive attitude and you’ll trick your mind into believing you’re brimming with confidence.

Celebrate your accomplishments

Those who suffer from imposter syndrome often fail to celebrate their own achievements. Instead of shying away from your successes, pat yourself on the back – whether it be a successful university project or gaining feedback from your manager in your part-time job. You have reached this stage through your own efforts.

Own it!

Accept compliments and feel pride.

Avoid comparing yourself to others

Everyone has unique talents and abilities. You have got to where you are because someone believed in you and could visualise your potential. Remember no one is talented at everything. You may acquire skills that your peers don’t have and vice versa. Don’t let their successes affect your small wins. 

When starting any new job, you’ll receive adequate training from hiring managers, so you won’t be expected to know everything on day one. With some perseverance, you’ll soon be on par with your colleagues.

Talk to someone

If you’re struggling to deal with feelings of imposter syndrome independently, there is always someone you can talk to. Open up to friends or family or pop in and visit the team at the Careers and Placements Centre to chat with a careers adviser. They are more than happy to sit down and talk through your job-related struggles and help you find your ideal grad job or internship.

Photo by fauxels

Written by Laura Bill, who works for Inspiring Interns. Inspiring Interns is the first recruitment company to use the innovative technique of video CVs to place young jobseekers into employment. Since their founding in 2009, they have placed over 7,500 graduates into the workplace, as well as providing useful advice for recent graduates and employers.