SEPARATE FEELINGS FROM FACT
“Just because you feel inadequate doesn’t mean you are inadequate,” Dr Young points out. Having a ‘huh?’ moment (or three!) is all part of life. “Ifyou don’t have these moments often, it means you’ve stopped learning,” she says.
It’ll also help ifyou make a habit of seeking evidence to validate your doubts, Cribb adds. “Pay attention to the facts,” she says. “Even if your head is telling you that you are inadequate, what does the evidence around you indicate?”
So you didn’t complete the half-marathon you set out to run. Instead of feeling shame (a common emotion for those with impostor syndrome), focus on learning where you went wrong so you can improve next time. “When you alter your mindset about failure, your confidence will grow hugely,” says Dr Young.
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MIND YOUR LANGUAGE
The words you use can have a huge impact. “You’ll be amazed at how differently you feel simply by changing your usual response from ‘I’m so stupid!’ to ‘I feel so stupid! ” Dr Young says.
SET A NEW STANDARD
You don’t have to work harder than everyone else to prove that you’re competent. “Realise that not everyone thinks like you and your standards might be overly high,” says Cribb. “Ask yourself,
‘If I only did this job at an 80 per cent level, who else would notice except for me? ”
DEFINE SUCCESS FORYOU
The traditional male model of success is money, power and status. “Women have a more layered definition ofsuccess,” explains Dr Young, “so in situations where these elements are in play (going for a promotion, for example), we wonder,
‘Can I really handle it? ” This anxiety can signal a mismatch between the social definition and what matters most to you, so think about how you define success to help ease your fears.