The first event entitled “Overcoming Imposter Syndrome” in the Executive Institute’s Women in Leadership series looks at how to address feelings of self doubt and inadequacy that can affect even established managers in the workplace. Ahead of the event, supported by Allianz, we sat down with our own Enterprise Sales Manager Alice Flynn to reflect on how imposter syndrome can strike even after years of experience in the field.
Imposter Syndrome: A thought pattern of self-doubt over one’s accomplishments, leading to an internal fear of being exposed as a “fraud”, particularly in a work setting.
AC: Looking back on your career, can you identify times where you may have experienced Imposter Syndrome?
AF: While the tag ‘Imposter Syndrome’ is relatively new to me, I can certainly relate to that sense of pushing myself to understand everything from the outset and confusing the learning process with feelings of being inadequate. I moved into the Enterprise area of the company three years ago, and even though I had spent two years managing Direct Operations and the previous fifteen years working in the Retail side of the business, I still felt like a newcomer! Being new to the role had me questioning myself a lot in the early days. You begin to think ‘how will anybody take me seriously?’
For me, imposter syndrome is not necessarily a lack of confidence in my capability, but rather a feeling that new ideas might be perceived as a lack of understanding about how the business works. This could easily deter one from seeking innovation and change in favour of doing things as they have always been done. However, I continue to test new approaches and maintain that a good goal is one that challenges and promotes transformation, not one that achieves the same as before.
AC: Is there any advice you could give to someone who can identify with the ‘Imposter Syndrome’ feelings?
AF: I think most importantly, I’ve recognised that rather than assuming your ideas will be queried or met with challenge and resistance, check in and look for feedback. Perhaps, what you interpret as a questioning of the actions you’re taking might just be the way in which someone is processing a new idea for the first time. I feel strongly that Imposter Syndrome starts and ends in your own mind. It’s important to trust yourself and the people that have placed you in the position. They have already seen qualities in you that suit the role and they want you to succeed.
Register to attend the Executive Institute’s Overcoming Imposter Syndrome event Wednesday 18 September, 2019 from 11am-2pm.
Learn more: https://www.womenleaders.ie