Have you ever experienced a minute of panic before getting ready to convene a meeting or have a speech? I do not mean those butterflies in the stomach or a common stage fright. I mean being stopped with a feeling of frightening self-doubt that your confidence was shot. If yes, then you are not the only one professional woman who knows what impostor syndrome is.
Fakes and Frauds
Impostor syndrome often impacts people whose work is frequently being reviewed by subjective audience. For this reason, women who use their skills in performance, writing, design and even marketing often can feel good only when they get a nice assessment from other people and know their work is appreciated.
Women in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) are in minority. They sometimes give up because of the pressure of feeling they have to represent all women in such fields. Even the best professionals sometimes believe they are not worthy.
Stop Blaming Yourself
It is proven that women tend to internalize failures while men tend to externalize them. A classic example is when a girl tries on a pair of jeans than no longer fits and says; “I am getting fat” while a boy in the similar situation says: “There is something wrong with this pair of jeans.”
Women consider it is their problem and blame themselves. They also are too critical to each other and to themselves, so fostering a culture of self-confidence should probably start with women supporting other women.
Own Your Confidence
You do not have to wait until you feel confident that you start acting confident. You should have courage to admit when you do not know something. One of good ways to become confident is being authentic and accepting that you do not need to know everything.
Women set too unrealistic expectations for themselves. They should stop being their own enemies. It is impossible to know and be able to do absolutely everything. Thus, women have to give themselves a break. They have to realize that perfection is unattainable, so they should stop waiting to achieve it and appreciate those strengths which they already own.
Breaking Impostor Syndrome
You have to attain self-confidence. Get out of your comfort zone. Due to even baby steps, you will eventually get to what you truly want and break that negative mental self talk that often surfaces. By concentrating on what you love doing, you can reprogram your brain to believe that you can do those things very well. Just enjoy your good qualities and do not set unrealistic goals of perfection. Appreciate things that you have already done successfully. Just become OK with the fact that you can make mistakes sometimes. When you fail, just take some time to think of what you can do better next time. Promise yourself to master your strengths and self-confidence.