Women Trading Up Support Program: Overcoming imposter syndrome

Second Year Apprentice/Trainee

Module 04: Overcoming imposter syndrome

We’re more likely to experience imposter syndrome if we don’t see many examples of people who look like us or share our background who are clearly succeeding in our fieldEmily Hu


What's imposter syndrome?

It is about not seeing your own potential through comparison to others or only seeing success as something just out of reach for you. Almost 70% of adults admit to experiencing imposter syndrome and putting their achievements to luck or happenstance, according to the International Journal of Behavioural Science. Especially as women in often male dominated workplaces, how can we combat imposter syndrome?

While an apprenticeship involves hard work and dedication, it’s important to notice if you tend to fight to feel you deserve the right to be in your workplace or learning your trade. Working with the thinking or feeling that you need to be 100 percent perfect or you deem yourself a failure. That’s imposter syndrome! On top of that, women grow up in a world that tries to link female appearance or external qualities to their success or worth.

How to deal with it?

One of the keys to succeeding and squashing imposter syndrome is to ‘own it’ – Owning what you look like, what you do, and what you want.  By stepping into confidence, individuality and finding joy and pride in what you do, you can begin to see yourself as a whole person and celebrate small successes along the way. This helps you to stay connected to your belief in your own abilities, your job, and your values.

Lifting each other up is another key way to put imposter syndrome to rest. Sharing with work mates or friends your observations of their success, by saying things like, “I can see you talented/gifted in ___ area.” This reduces the need to compare yourself to others and helps the whole team feel confident in their strengths.

Need further assistance?

If you can’t seem to shake the imposter syndrome feeling – it might be worth talking to a trusted friend or mental health professional. You can always reach out to our mentor team for a chat or help, if you don’t know where to start.

It’s okay to be out of your depth sometimes, try to harness the experience. Sometimes this is how we experience the biggest personal growth. Check out this podcast below for more tips.

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