You applied, interviewed, received the job offer, accepted, and now it is day one of your new job! Congratulations! All of a sudden, you feel uneasy and thoughts of doubt start filling your head, such as or “I am not good enough” and “Am I qualified for this job?” These thoughts are what is called impostor syndrome. 

According to the Oxford Dictionary, impostor syndrome is the “persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own effort or skills.” Let’s dive in a little further on what impostor syndrome is and some ways to overcome it. 

Dr. Valerie Young, co-founder of the Impostor Syndrome Institute, says there are five types of impostor syndrome. These are:

  • The Perfectionist – This person demands perfection in all aspects of life. Due to perfection not being realistic, the standards cannot be met. Rather than recognizing the great effort that was put in to complete a task, one ends up belittling what was not accomplished and picking at any minor mistake. The sense of “failure” takes over. This might limit one to avoid trying new things since things weren’t done perfectly the first time around. 
  • The Natural Genius – For this person, throughout life picking up new skills and learning new material has been an easy task and feels that this is always going to be the case. If there’s a new process that needs to be learned and it is not learned after the first try or soon after the material being taught, the natural genius will think less of themselves or think they have failed.
  • The Superhuman – This person always wants to do more and more. Taking on extra tasks and soon enough they find themselves becoming overwhelmed. There is a sense that working more is needed in order to achieve everything they are looking to accomplish. 
  • The Soloist – This person always wants to do everything on their own and feels that if they ask for help it only means it is a sign of weakness. In taking on so much they feel exhausted and begin to doubt what they can really do.
  • The Expert – This is commonly found in people who have advanced degrees and feel because they have invested so much time and effort in their education that they should know everything in their own field. Even though an expert in their own right, this person still has self-doubt and believes they are not equipped to handle any challenges that may come across in their job. 

If you have ever found yourself having any of the thoughts above, you are not alone. Here are some things that can help:

  • Celebrate your accomplishments – No matter how big or small, find a reason to celebrate! It could be a great presentation, a promotion, a new degree or even getting through the day. Each is a reason to celebrate with a nice dinner, treat or something you like! 
  • Positive self-talk – The power of “I” Statements can do wonders! If you feel self-doubt or negative thoughts coming through, replace these thoughts with positive thoughts, such as “I am capable” or “I am deserving of this success!”
  • Reach out – If things become too much, reach out for help or to talk things through with family or friends. It may be hard at first, but know that it is okay to talk things through and that asking for help is something good for the mind and soul.

Remember, impostor syndrome is not something you have to deal with alone. We all may experience these feelings to different extents, but always know there are people who are more than happy to boost you up and remind you of everything you have done to get you where you are today.

About Lorena Martinez

Lorena was born in Lima, Peru before moving to Barcelona, Spain for a few years and then finally settling with her family in Utah. She is a Utah Valley University graduate and earned her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Family Studies. She will begin her MBA at the University of Utah this fall. Lorena has been working in hospitality for most of her career and she is presently at the Residence Inn Salt Lake City/Cottonwood as their Sales Executive. When Lorena is not working, she enjoys spending time with her 5 kids, traveling, or playing basketball in a women’s league.