someone with imposter syndrome - portrayed by a blurry faced man holding a mask.

Imposter Syndrome: How Networking can help you Overcome this Silent Business Killer.

Imposter Syndrome: How Networking can help you Overcome this Silent Business Killer.

Imposter Syndrome is a success squasher at best, and a silent business killer at worst. It’s like a shadow; ever present, but in the wrong circumstances it looms over you, blotting out everything around you. It covers your eyes so you can’t see your greatness, it stuffs your ears so you don’t believe when others tell you how amazing you are, and it fills your mind with doubts, mistruths, and dread.

The definition of Imposter Syndrome is “the persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.”

We’ve all experienced it at some point in our professional lives: the self-doubt and dread that we feel going into any experience we don’t feel capable of undertaking. Whether that’s feeling underqualified for a new position, applying for a job you don’t have all the experience for, presenting to your higher-ups, or stepping out to set up your own business in a field of other experienced people (who, spoiler alert, probably felt the same as you).

Imposter syndrome is a sad state to be in, and yet it plagues a large number of us – and everyone experiences it differently.

An employee might get imposter syndrome when they are asked to do a new task, to run a meeting with more senior staff members, or when they first start interacting with clients. They might compare themselves to other team members, thinking they’re not as good or that their team members are more deserving of recognition.

A business owner might experience imposter syndrome at all points of their journey, from not feeling good enough to even start, to comparing themselves to people that’ve been doing it for years, to needing to be perfect so they don’t let their clients down.

There are many ways to tackle imposter syndrome, depending on how severe it is and how deep you want to go.

You can attack it on a personal level by just “feeling the fear and doing it anyway”, or getting a coach to help you find a way to work through those feelings. If you really want to get to the bottom of it, you could try therapy or counselling.

You can also tackle imposter syndrome from a community angle, by surrounding yourself with a network of caring, positive, and supportive people.A networking group is a great place to start to build these professional relationships as they provide you with a space where you can talk about every aspect of your business and career.

Networking groups are usually made up of a mixed collection of professions, with varying degrees of experience in their field and in business. They have differing experiences with imposter syndrome and different reasons for having it. As you build relationships with them, they’ll be able to give suggestions on how to overcome it, and you’ll come to realise that even the most experienced person in the room has moments of self-doubt. They’ll be your cheerleaders, celebrating every win; they’ll be your teachers, helping you out with things they’ve learned along the way; and they’ll be your friends, giving you support and encouragement when you’re feeling low.

Imposter syndrome is a demon many of us will face in our personal or professional lives. Next time your imposter syndrome strikes, remember there are ways to work through it and become the most successful version of yourself. Keep your chin up and, as Susan Jeffers says, “feel the fear and do it anyway”.

Don’t let your imposter syndrome get you down in your career.

Join a networking group to get the support you need to succeed!

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