How can reflecting on your workweek help you with imposter syndrome?

Do you ever feel like it’s just luck that you ended up where you are now? When people compliment your work, do you ever fob them off with an excuse that’s nothing to do with your skills? These feelings are common and are known as imposter syndrome.

It’s easy to make that assumption, but it might be setting you back more than you realise. Instead, take a moment to step back and think: “you know what, I earned this through hard work”.

Recently, I attended one of the talks from The Marketing Meetup (one of the loveliest communities in the UK I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with) and was reminded once more of the importance of celebrating and sharing wins.

In the takeaways I’ve linked here, you can see how Sahana broke down the mentality of ‘fake it until you make it’. Instead, she encouraged us to focus on building up positivity.

Learn that you earned it.

In the session, Sahana recommended focusing on adding positivity to your day. Here are some specific ways you can be kinder to yourself during the workday:

  • Congratulate yourself.
  • Write it down and share it with someone.
  • Appreciate what got you to where you are now and specifically the things you yourself did to get there.
  • Share your knowledge with people you know through inclusive conversations.
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We often focus on the bigger picture and fail to appreciate how far we have come.

It’s especially easy to fall into that trap when we have less successful or unproductive days. From that one spot of negativity, it’s easy to think we have failed more widely.

Challenge yourself

To help you reframe your mindset when it comes to your own achievements and progress, I invite you to do weekly reviews. There is a range of different benefits to reviewing your progress regularly, not least that it gives you the opportunity to celebrate and share your wins.

One of the most immediate results is a near-instant boost to your motivation. To-do lists are helpful for organising our thoughts, but they often force us to focus on what we’ve not yet done. Help yourself feel better by acknowledging your progress and all that you have achieved.

On top of that, when we look back and make a review of our work periodically, it becomes easier to see the progress objectively. Do you set yourself key milestones that you need to achieve by a certain time?

Every time you hit one, instead of simply ticking it off and carrying on, take time to celebrate even the smaller milestones. Make an effort to recognise your progress and keep your morale up.

Look at it this way: you can’t achieve the goal of reading 100 books without reading the first ten, so celebrate those as happily as you would the final ten.

Having regular reviews also makes it easier to adjust your goals where needed. If you feel like you never hit goals, it might be that you’re taking on too much, too fast. Regular reviews will help you to spot where you’re overstretching yourself, so you can learn to set achievable goals over time. You will also learn to understand your energy levels better and how not to give yourself too much to do.

Ultimately, listing your achievements separates the facts from your emotions. To help yourself grow, you need cold, hard facts that allow you to recognise your own worth and knowledge.

Don’t be afraid of sharing wins publicly or with your friends. It will help to increase self-confidence and see your improvement objectively. When you voice your achievements out loud, you will better realise your skills and knowledge, and be more confident with sharing them publicly when needed.

 

Tips, from me to you

Whenever I do a weekly review, I always realise I have done more than I thought initially — without fail. As it’s something I make a point of doing consistently, I have a few tips that might help your reviews be even better:

  • Make a habit and stick to it, whether that’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. It only needs to last five or ten minutes but sticking to your routine is the only way it will last.
  • Keep yourself accountable by finding a buddy or a group of peers. You can also share your wins with these people to get into the habit of backing yourself in public.

Check out Pods by Leapers for example.

 

Here are some targeted questions that can help when doing a review:

  • What worked well?
  • What did I dislike the most this week?
  • What tasks took longer than I expected them to?
  • What did I do that I hadn’t originally planned to do?
  • What was my best day? Why?
  • What did I do this week that my future self will thank me for?
  • What goal milestones did I achieve?
  • What due dates are coming up? What are my next priorities?

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