How can employees get over this troubling problem?
Insecurities and self-doubt appear to be taking over employees' psyche early this year following a massive surge of searches for the "impostor syndrome," according to Instant Offices.
Instant Offices, a global office advisory service, revealed that there has been a staggering 75% increase in inquiries for impostor syndrome in 2024 alone.
Impostor Syndrome refers to a "behavioral health phenomenon described as self-doubt of intellect, skills, or accomplishments among high-achieving individuals."
"These individuals cannot internalize their success and subsequently experience pervasive feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, depression, and/or apprehension of being exposed as a fraud in their work, despite verifiable and objective evidence of their successfulness," read the research, "Impostor Phenomenon," at the National Library of Medicine.
According to Instant Offices, industries that had the highest proportion of cases of Impostor Syndrome come from:
- Creative arts and design (87%)
- Environment and agriculture (79%)
- Information research and analysis (79%)
- Law (74%)
- Media and internet (73%)
Previous research from NerdWallet also revealed that 78% of business leaders have experienced Impostor Syndrome at some point in their careers.
"It's clear that many individuals are grappling with feelings of self-doubt and insecurity, and we believe that addressing this phenomenon is crucial for personal and professional development," said Instant Offices in a media release.
Addressing Impostor Syndrome
To address Impostor Syndrome, Instant Offices said it begins with knowing one's worth.
"Don't shy away from praise and compliments. Accept your achievements and if need be, write them down. When you try to talk yourself out of feeling confident in your role, all the proof is on paper. Knowing your worth means allowing your work to speak for itself and letting others see it too," it said.
Employees also need to stop seeking for perfection, according to Instant Offices, pointing out that challenges and losses are parts of growth and that employees don't have to be good at everything.
It's important to stop thinking like an impostor and replace self-defeating thoughts with more positive affirmations, according to Instant Offices, adding that it is also crucial to recognise that those suffering from Impostor Syndrome aren't alone.
"If you're constantly worried about not being good enough, chances are you're in good company - most successful people constantly overanalyse themselves!" it said.
Christine MacDonald, one of founders of The Hub Events, also underscored that employers have a role in helping employees get over Impostor Syndrome, noting that the individual issue can also be seen as a systematic problem.
"So, when you are building a team, ensure that there is some representation. So much so that a single employee doesn't feel like they are representing their entire group of people," she said.