Despite the high levels of leaders suffering with Imposter Syndrome, there’s still a taboo surrounding the issue
Today is World Mental Health Day, a time to remember the importance of employee psychological wellbeing. And worryingly data released today painted a dire picture of leaders’ mental health right now.
Research from NerdWallet found that 78% of business leaders have experienced Imposter Syndrome at some point in their careers.
Imposter Syndrome is defined as self-doubt – a condition impacting more women than men typically – and has been linked to poor mental health and morale.
Despite the high levels of leaders suffering with Imposter Syndrome, there’s still some sort of taboo surrounding the issue. So much so that just 21% of leaders say they’ve discussed these feelings with their peers or other business leaders, while four percent say they don’t discuss these feelings with anyone else.
The pressure of Imposter Syndrome seems to rise in social situations. For instance, half of leaders said they felt ‘inadequate’ in meetings, 47% said they felt the issue bubble up in performance reviews and 44% when they had to give a presentation.
So what’s triggering this self-doubt?
Well according to the data, Imposter Syndrome is most prevalent in those just starting off their careers and those at the other end of the scale at the close of their career journey. Starting a new role triggers Imposter Syndrome in the most people (57%), closely followed by receiving praise in front of colleagues (55%).
And the impact this issue has on performance can’t be understated.
According to the data, Imposter Syndrome can see people quitting their jobs, with 59% of business leaders having seriously considered leaving just because of self-doubt. What’s more, the issue impacts professional relationships (64%), individual physical health (53%), finances (51%), and personal relationships (46%).
HRD recently reported on the wider issue of Imposter Syndrome when research revealed a staggering 90% of female employees routinely suffer from it.