June 5, 2023

Imposter Syndrome

One of the best things about the Alliance of Women in Worker’s Compensation is that the group is inclusive of all professionals in workers’ compensation, regardless of career stage, with the belief that we can all learn from and support each other.  I had the opportunity to speak to our members about something special to me and something that truly impacts all people in the industry at every level. And I loved the open dialogue and interaction in our session on Imposter Syndrome, which was broadcast on May 4, 2023, and is available on demand.

Imposter Syndrome is the belief that you do not have the skills or ability to be in your role and don’t think you deserve the recognition and accolades that come with your achievements.

Studies show that 100% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their careers, which makes it critical to discuss. Imposter syndrome does not care about gender, race, role, or industry, which means we all need to learn the skills to overcome and manage our own personal negative talk.

Personally, when my mind starts negative self-talk, and the imposter syndrome starts to set in, I remind myself that I bring a diverse perspective and that I have earned my role. We each have unique and beneficial experiences that allow us to look at things differently. This can help me realign my thinking, but even I experience imposter syndrome and need tangible tips to overcome it. So, here are the quick tips we covered during our session; feel free to listen to go into more depth.

The four steps to keep in mind when imposter syndrome hits are 1. Know the signs; 2. Let go of perfectionism; 3. Meet yourself with compassion; and 4. Embrace it. Imposter Syndrome is not something that will just go away; it is like going to the gym; you have to continuously work out the muscles to make it easier to overcome. And because this is so prevalent, this is a wonderful topic to discuss with a mentor or your personal board of directors (those you go to for feedback) for their advice, encouragement, and an outside reminder that you do belong and are qualified.

When imposter syndrome hits, just remember CTRL ALT DEL. Control yourself, alter your thinking, and delete negativity.

With this in mind, you can remind yourself that you deserve your seat at the table.

A few great reads regarding overcoming imposter syndrome and leadership that I have loved include:

· Grit by Angela Duckworth

· Work IT by Carrie Kerpen

· Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

· Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

· Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Have you experienced imposter syndrome? What helps you to overcome those feelings of self-doubt? Leave a comment for us and share your thoughts! And if you would like to connect and discuss more, feel free to message me on LinkedIn!

By: Kelley Kage, Chief Information Officer, Surety and North America Commercial Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance