Here's the good news about feeling like a fake at work - it's super common. In fact, nearly 70 percent of people report feeling like imposters at work sometimes, and that includes luminaries like Sheryl Sandberg and Tina Fey.
So, if you're sometimes lacking self-confidence, you can take comfort in knowing that some of your professional idols probably do too. Which might make you feel a little better, but it probably won't make you any more comfortable and relaxed in the face of your next work challenge.
What will? There is a ton of advice out there on overcoming imposter syndrome and attaining true self-confidence, but I recently ran across an easily actionable trick for boosting self-confidence that I'd never heard before. (It's targeted at women though there's no reason men couldn't give it a go too.)
A masterclass in refusing to be intimidated.
It comes from a female professional who should know a thing or two about standing tall in potentially highly intimidating situations. Angel investor Joanne Wilson is most definitely a woman in a man's world -- just seven percent of venture capitalists are women -- but on her blog recently, she admitted to not being much troubled by imposter syndrome.
Frequently being the only woman in a room full of men doesn't phase her, she claims. "That air of confidence in those situations has served me well. Men either love me or hate me and some women find me intimidating but I have tried to understand that about myself," she writes, tracing the origins of her exceptional self-possession to a supportive father.
Wilson knows that not every woman naturally feels that level of ease in high-pressure situations, however, but she believes it is possible to nurture unshakable self-confidence later in life. She offers up a simple, actionable tool you can use to feel more comfortable and in control no matter what the world throws at you:
Every woman should write down a list of their own successes and use it as a tool to remind themselves what they have accomplished in their lives. Everyone has their own journey. Everyone has their own successes. Everyone should feel great about what they have done because those notches in your cap were created only by you. So when they walk into a room and feel unsure or not powerful they should think about those bullet points and say to themselves "I am accomplished and I know my sh*t." Maybe that would help get rid of all of our imposter syndromes.
What are the top three accomplishments that would make your list?