By Katie Mohamed, Founder of W-Suite and Women Empowerment
Have you ever felt like you are winging it, and sooner or later someone is going to find out about your secret? Well, that’s what we call Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome is commonly characterised as an internalised struggle where individuals feel intellectually or professionally inadequate.
It involves harbouring self-doubt that is intertwined with anxiety and a profound fear of being exposed as a fraud. In the case of women, the biases and stereotypes prevalent in work environments can further amplify and intensify these emotions of not fitting in and belonging.
A KPMG study finds 75% of female executives across industries have experienced Imposter Syndrome in their careers, which is a feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt that makes them continuously doubt if they are qualified enough for the job.
The concept of imposter syndrome has gained widespread attention, with self-doubt and imposter syndrome being prevalent in workplaces. Women of colour, in particular, are often susceptible to experiencing such feelings. Understanding the reasons behind this and finding ways to address it is crucial.
It is important to acknowledge that, despite receiving education and training, many individuals have been unable to overcome their self-doubt and embrace higher levels of success. The lack of role models and representation is just one factor that contributes to Imposter Syndrome.
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It is important to emphasise that experiencing imposter syndrome does not mean that something is wrong with us. Rather, we need to learn how to effectively manage these emotions. We must avoid self-sabotaging our own success and cultivate a positive mindset.
While humility is admirable. Excessive humility can actually hinder our progress, particularly if it further fuels feelings of self-doubt. By focusing on the present instead of getting caught up in future uncertainties or dwelling on past anxieties, we can gain clarity and release anxious thoughts.
It is crucial to remind ourselves that we are not imposters but rather extraordinary individuals capable of remarkable achievements.