Feeling Like an Impostor? 5 Actions to Grow Your Confidence

“This is a new role for me.” 

“I don’t have as much experience in this area of the company as the leaders I’m working with in this HR leadership role.” 

“I’m nervous about the meeting. What if I don’t know the answers to all their questions?”

“My role is shifting from an HR generalist to an HR business partner. How can I be a strategic partner when there’s so much to learn?” 

How many thoughts like these have been swirling in your head? 

Impostor Syndrome – You Probably Have It!

Nearly two-thirds of individuals will experience #impostor syndrome at some point in their lives, according to authors Jaruwan Sakulku and James Alexander in their International Journal of Behavioral Science article, “The Impostor Phenomenon.” “Burnout, emotional exhaustion, loss of intrinsic motivation, poor achievement, including guilt and shame about success are reinforced by repetitions of the impostor cycle.”

Odds are, you’ve experienced impostor syndrome yourself at some point. You may even be feeling it right now.

If you struggle with impostor syndrome, you often feel that you’re not good enough. You compare yourself to others. You believe that you’ve been lucky all your life; you were in the right place at the right time. Those are the kinds of stories you tell yourself. They steal your #confidence when you need it most.

Impostor Syndrome not only comes from self-sabotage. Sometimes the environment you live or work in contributes to these feelings of lower self-worth. Leaders must be aware to address potential cultural norms, policies, practices, and systems that contribute to an impostor-inducing environment.

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

How do you overcome impostor syndrome? In my coaching work with professionals who find themselves dealing with this challenge, we begin by exploring how impostor syndrome shows up and what some of the contributors may be. Then, we incorporate strategies that help you realize your value and help you shift to more confidently showing up as your authentic self. 

5 Actions to Grow Your Confidence

You can do the same. Feeling Like an Impostor. These 5 actions will get you on the path to growing your confidence and releasing the impostor inside yourself:

  1. Recognize & acknowledge that feeling like an impostor is sometimes a challenge for you. Self-awareness will put you in a position to work through it.
  2. Focus on the value you contributed rather than always pointing to the skills you feel you’re lacking.
  3. Develop your emotional intelligence so that you are aware of times when feelings of impostor syndrome surface, possible triggers, the impact they have on you, and how you can shift out of that mode.
  4. Manage the expectations you have of yourself, and don’t read too much into what you think others expect of you. 
  5. Reach out for support – your boss, trusted peer, mentor, or a coach. Don’t go it alone.

Most importantly, learn to genuinely love and value yourself. And give yourself some grace when things don’t go perfectly. 

Remember, you are enough!

If you could use some support working through your impostor syndrome, don’t hesitate to contact me.

#influence #authenticity #resilience #hr #shrm #leadership


She’s a woman on a mission, prepped and ready to help you create resilient leaders and a workplace that is poised to succeed. Having weathered her fair share of corporate and career crises of all sizes, Vivian Blade MBA, MBB, PMP, is a global leadership expert and thought leader who equips leaders with the resilience that inspires teams to recover quickly in the face of ongoing disruption and thrive in spite of insurmountable odds.

Vivian empowers leaders and organizations as a frequent keynote speaker for association conferences and in delivering transformative leadership development programs, executive coaching and consulting for corporations.

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