Ending Impostor Syndrome & Finding Confidence in Chaos
In the chaos of today confidence can be illusive. Social isolation and virtual meetings keep us from experiencing the smaller daily interactions which give the ego a bit of a boost. Uncertain times leave little information to be confident in actions. Feeling inadequate, dwelling on the past, self-doubt, anxiety, negative self-talk, and distrust your abilities are signs of lack of confidence and impostor syndrome. At the core is fear and insecurity- fear that something will yield a negative result and the idea of being undeserving of good things.
Throughout the workday, we are busy trying to make sense of information, or lack thereof. There is an impulse to take control by understanding and drawing conclusions. This cognitive closure, or need for an answer to resolve ambiguity, leads us to oversimplify, jump to conclusions, and hold onto erroneous beliefs even in the face of new information. Stress from time constraints, lack of sleep, loud background noise, and alcohol has been shown to make us less tolerant of uncertainty. This can lead to hiring bias, poor negotiations, and brash business decisions.
To find certainty in chaos begin by identifying when or in what situations you feel the least confident. Explore the root cause and consider intervention to minimize negative feelings. As you put your fear into perspective consider ways you can experience smaller incremental success to build confidence. As you are taking these mini-risks, try to maintain an optimistic outlook. Visualize a successful experience, give yourself some positive self-talk, and question your inner critic. Know you are inherently deserving and let your purpose guide and focus your efforts. When you experience success take a moment to celebrate, giving your subconscious a lingering reminder of how good feels.
To build confidence and address impostor syndrome know the signs that your confidence is waning, understand that you are not alone (70% of individuals will experience impostor syndrome at least once in their life), acknowledge your feelings, exercise self-compassion, focus on your strengths, let go of perfectionism, find a supportive community, and share your thoughts and feelings with a trusted confidant. Reduce stress by managing alcohol consumption, muting background noise, getting plenty of rest, and keeping a schedule. In time and through action your confidence will grow and, in the future, when you feel your confidence start to wane, you’ll be better equipped to address it.