Sat 9 Nov. 2019

Courage, Confidence & The Impostor Syndrome

Kate has very kindly put together a webpage for us with the slides and additional information which can be accessed here:

As mentioned on the night, in lieu of a fee for the talk, Kate asked us to make a donation to Anxiety UK, which we are very glad to do.

Earlier this week we welcomed Kate Atkin to an after-work seminar followed by nibbles and a networking opportunity in Ipswich, to talk about the Impostor Syndrome. Thank you to Kate and all our members who attended!

After laying down two ground rules around confidentiality (of other people's stories and experiences), and being kind to ourselves, Kate gave us a very interesting hour-long talk about this phenomenon.

Immediately questioning what we know about mindset, Kate opened up the floor to collate a list of questions that we would like answering that night, including the audience right from the word go.

Impostor Syndrome arguably should be called a phenomenon as usually it is an experience felt by most at a certain point or points in time, rather than a sustained feeling. It is an internal feeling of intellectual phoniness, despite the successes achieved by the individual. It can often prevent people from recognising their skills and capabilities - something which a good manager would see clearly.

According to one piece of research 70% of people experience the phenomenon in their lives. This is split roughly equally between men and women, however the way it is dealt with is often different depending on gender.

We discussed how you can work to over come it if you experience it. Changing your language is the first step; own your strengths and skills. Use "yes, and..." rather than "yes, but..."; say "I learnt this", and "I used this skill". You can collect positive feedback - we are generally very poor at recognising it and giving it. You don't have to be the World's Best in order to be very good at something and do an excellent job - perhaps (within reason) you can apply the 80% rule.

Failure is simply things that didn't work - we need more learning conversations on this. Remember you are not the person you were when you started.

Sometimes you just need to do it and confidence will then grow over time.

Sarah Deacon