Do You Have Impostor Syndrome? Most Women Do, Don’t Realize It

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By: Krystle Crossman

When you are looking for a job which ones do you apply for? Do you look at the requirements and find that if you do not feel like you are 100% qualified for the job you won’t apply? What if you are 100% qualified but you can’t seem to push past the doubt about your abilities? You may have impostor syndrome and you don’t even realize it. Some men are affected by this but most of the time it happens to women. Men are likely to apply for a job even if they feel it is only a 60% match for their skills and abilities.

So what exactly is impostor syndrome? It is when a woman feels that she is not worthy of the success that she has. She feels like she lucked out or was in the right place and right time instead of accepting that she got where she is because she is skilled and knowledgeable. They also feel like they are an impostor because they don’t feel that they are worthy of the success they have. This syndrome was first documented in 1978 in a paper that was written by a group of psychologists. Obama Administration workplace consultant and author Alexandra Levit stated that these feelings prevent women for going after things that they are completely qualified for and deserve. They may not ask for the raise that they should have, they may not go after the promotion they want, or they may not apply for a high-quality job that they would be a great fit for.

It was found in studies through the years that the women that are the most affected by this syndrome are the ones that are really good at what they do in their career. If you find that this is something that affects you there are ways to help rid yourself of these feelings:

1. Write out all of the skills that you have. Put all of your accomplishments from work down on paper as well. Make sure that these lists are in plain sight every single day so that you are reminded of them. Think about all of the reasons that you are qualified for the job that you have and why you are still in the role you are.

2. Find an impartial third party for a second opinion about your skills. Let them explain to you why you are qualified and what excellent skills you possess.

3. Take some time to breathe and to think about the big picture. If you are going into a meeting or have to give a presentation prepare for a few minutes and think about why you are there and all of the great things that you have done to get there.

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