How to Beat Impostor Syndrome

Guest Post by Wool of the King

 

Hi everyone, I’m Lauren from wooloftheking.com. I am a third-year Communication and Media student at Bournemouth University and I am going to be giving my advice on how to beat Impostor Syndrome. I am not an expert on mental health by any means, I am just sharing some tips that I use to help me. If you’d like to learn more about me, read my 20 Facts About Me post over on my blog.


“Impostor Syndrome refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context” – verywellmind.com.


desk with planner beside brown wool knit
Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash


How do you know if you have Impostor Syndrome?

In simple terms, if you have ever felt like you can’t do something that you are suitable for or qualified to do, then you have probably experienced Impostor Syndrome. An example could be feeling like you can’t apply to a job that you have the correct qualifications for. If you are looking at a job and the requirements are a degree and a year’s experience in marketing, and you have both of those things but still feel like you won’t be able to do the job properly, then you are showing signs of Impostor Syndrome.


It can be easy to doubt yourself, especially if you are new to a career or if you have a lot of pressure on you. When I was applying for internships, I got rejected by a lot of employers, and some never even got back to me at all, even after interviews. Receiving so much rejection really knocked my confidence and I was worried that I wouldn’t get an internship for my placement year at university. Looking back now, I realised it wasn’t anything that was wrong with me. The internships I applied for didn’t require a degree or much other experience so there was no way I could have been under-qualified. Also, internships generally don’t pay enough for you to have bags of experience. Sometimes it’s just unlucky if someone more suited to the job role comes along.




How can you try to overcome Impostor Syndrome?


Basing your outlook on facts

A lot of the time, we can get in our heads and tell ourselves that we won’t be good enough for things when that isn’t the case in reality. If someone has told you that you are good at something or if you have gotten really good results in a test then there is a reason for that. If you have a qualification, then there must be a reason for that.


Try and get as much experience as possible

Getting more and more experience will help you to feel more in control of your future and help to show you what you can actually do. For example, if you are a university student who hasn’t started their career yet, it can be more daunting because you don’t actually have your own experience of what your sector is like. However, if you try and do some work experience or do some online courses, this will give you more knowledge and set you apart. It can also make you feel more confident in applying for jobs and in interviews.

Before doing my year marketing internship, I did work experience at my local newspaper so I could get an idea of what working life would be like in an office. I had a part-time job at Pret at the start of uni so I couldn’t really compare that to working in an office. I also wrote for the uni newspaper and my blog has really helped me with marketing too. Think about things you could do to enhance your skills and do them, it can only make you feel better to get more knowledge about your chosen industry.


Don’t compare yourself to others

This is a hard one. Especially when you keep seeing people online flaunting their good grades and good jobs. It’s important to remember that no one posts their failures online. There is nothing wrong with taking longer to achieve something than someone else. I remember this with my driving lessons. Everyone was starting driving when we were 17 but of course, we all had different birthdays so started driving at different times. Some people took 4 months to pass their test and I actually took 10 months because it took me so long to learn but I got there in the end. Does it really matter when you pass your driving test? Not really.

As we enter adulthood, people are all at different stages of their lives and that is OK. I’m 21 and there are people who have families now, and there are people at university, some who didn’t go and there are people who don’t drive. Everyone is different.


It’s OK to feel anxious sometimes

There are probably CEOs who feel like they can’t do it sometimes. Everyone has self-doubt, you just need to be able to recognise your qualities.


How do you try to overcome feelings of self-doubt?

*If you feel you are really struggling with anxiety and/or debilitating self-doubt then visit www.anxietyuk.org.uk or seek professional guidance.


Where to find Lauren

Blog – www.wooloftheking.com

Instagram – @_laurenken

Twitter – @_laurenken

Pinterest – laurenken1

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