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Conquer the ‘impostor syndrome’

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in Workplace Communication

Q: I’m going through a confidence crisis. I didn’t get a promotion I thought I deserved. Then I applied for a job I was overqualified for— and got rejected! Now I’m doubting my ability to keep doing what I’m doing without screwing up. What can I do to snap back?

A: You’re getting a taste of what psychologists call the “impostor syndrome,” in which you feel like you’re faking it and you’re in over your head. At some point, almost everyone feels like an impostor. Keep plugging away, learning new skills and polishing the ones you have. The key is to stay active: enroll in courses, attend conferences, volunteer for project teams. Above all, don’t work in fear of others “exposing” your failings. The more you let doubts creep in, the greater the chance of succumbing to those doubts.

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