The R3 Continuum Playbook: Imposter Syndrome – How to Understand, Acknowledge, and Overcome It
Imposter Syndrome is not something new, but it is a current area of interest for those wanting to overcome the self-doubts that most people experience. In this excerpt from an R3 Continuum webinar, Dr. Tyler Arvig, Associate Medical Director, sheds light on exactly what Imposter Syndrome is, how it can impact your life and career if it is not addressed, and some ways to overcome it.
The full webinar, Imposter Syndrome – How to Understand, Acknowledge, and Overcome It, can be found here.
The R3 Continuum Playbook is presented by R3 Continuum and is produced by the Minneapolis-St.Paul Studio of Business RadioX®. R3 Continuum is the underwriter of Workplace MVP, the show which celebrates heroes in the workplace.
Intro: [00:00:00] Broadcasting from the Business RadioX Studios, here is your R3 Continuum Playbook. Brought to you by Workplace MVP sponsor, R3 Continuum, a global leader in workplace, behavioral health, crisis, and security solutions.
Shane McNally: [00:00:13] Hi there. My name is Shane McNally, Marketing Specialist for R3 Continuum. On this episode of the R3 Continuum Playbook, we’re featuring a segment from a recent webinar that was done with R3 Continuum’s Associate Medical Director, Dr. Tyler Arvig. This webinar was titled Imposter Syndrome: How to Understand, Acknowledge and Overcome It.
Shane McNally: [00:00:33] In this webinar, Dr. Arvig took a deeper dive into something that most of us have likely experienced at some point, but maybe didn’t even realize what it was. Imposter Syndrome. Imposter syndrome is defined as an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. While it’s perfectly normal to feel this way, it can impact your mental well-being, job performance, and your ability to thrive within your career if it’s left unaddressed.
Shane McNally: [00:00:59] In this segment, Dr. Arvig provides expert advice into what you can do if you find yourself struggling with imposter syndrome.
Shane McNally: [00:01:07] What do you do if you are identifying with some of these traits?
Tyler Arvig: [00:01:12] Yeah. Well, first of all, realize that that’s normal. Humans have this wonderful ability to – we have frontal lobes and we can process things more intellectually and dig into things. But sometimes that can also have a downside, which is we overanalyze things. We worry too much about things. So, if you’re noticing these things in yourself, first of all, realize that it’s normal and it’s not pathological. We aren’t talking about pathology or you’re not sick. This isn’t an illness. It’s just your way of seeing yourself and seeing other people.
Tyler Arvig: [00:01:56] So, these are just some tips. They might work for you. They might not. But really just kind of think about these things as we talk about them. The first thing you do is show your feelings. Be transparent. If I’m having doubt in myself and what I’m feeling or my role or whatever, the first thing I can do is just, you know, talk to someone about that. Share that I’m feeling anxious or I’m feeling like I’m not maybe really part of this group or I’m not good enough. There’s something wrong with that. And everyone has those thoughts, but some people are reluctant to share them. But sharing those feelings can go a long way towards undoing what you might have built up in your mind about some of these things.
Tyler Arvig: [00:02:48] The second thing is, you know, assess your abilities. So, with imposter syndrome, what we’re talking about is, I don’t feel like I’m really good at doing what I’m doing. If the CEO – you know the CEO information that’s out there is interesting because you get these people that are heads of giant, multibillion-dollar corporations and, like, I’m not good enough to do this. Like, I’m not really that good. And, like, well, you must be because you got promoted to that level and that doesn’t happen by accident. But if we think of this as doubting our abilities, the second thing we can do is really assess our abilities. Objectively, how did I deal with that? Oh, actually, maybe I did pretty darn well with it. So, maybe some of my doubt in my abilities is misplaced.
Tyler Arvig: [00:03:46] Again, when it comes to confronting what we think of as faulty beliefs or beliefs that maybe don’t have a basis, in fact, the way you do that is by assessing facts, and then going, okay, here’s what I believe. Here’s what I actually did. What do they match up and what don’t they match up?
Tyler Arvig: [00:04:06] The third point here is to start small, which is don’t try and do everything all at once. Start with one thing. If I’m – I have – let’s say, I guess with this presentation, I’m like, oh, this presentation just didn’t go well. I feel like I didn’t know the topic and I was kind of fooling everyone and I didn’t really say anything that was intelligent. I could do a bunch of different things. I could go do a ton more research on the Internet and compare it to the slides I have and then talk to my boss and talk to this person, talk to that person. Or, maybe I just call Shane, be like, hey, Shane, how did that go? Like, did it go okay? Did it – start small. You don’t always need this big giant reaffirmation, but just a little affirmation. Chip away at it over time. And that can sometimes help to get you out of that mindset.
Tyler Arvig: [00:05:10] The fourth thing is question your thoughts. And if you’ve ever been involved in therapy or mental health treatment of any kind, one of the things we often do is when people have thoughts and those thoughts may or may not be based, in fact, the first thing we do is if someone says, “I think that this person doesn’t like me.” Okay. Well, look at that objectively. That thought, question it. Do I have any basis for that thought? What information confirms that thought? What information disconfirms that thought? Like, question it.
Tyler Arvig: [00:05:50] A thought is not a fact. A thought is thought. Right? So, start questioning your thoughts, especially those thoughts that lead to self-doubt or negativity, which, by the way, doesn’t mean you’re not going to do anything that’s wrong or the things might not happen that are negative because you will and they do. But one of the things we often do is one negative thing can happen, 99 positive things can happen. And what we walk away with is the one negative thing. We don’t walk away with all the other stuff that went really well. So, questioning your thoughts is one way of balancing out your mindset when it comes to some of these things.
Tyler Arvig: [00:06:33] Limiting social media is a big one, particularly when it comes to – well, I was going to say particularly when it comes to social, but I would say actually in relation to everything. I joke with my wife that no one posts on social media, yes, I got drunk last night and my marriage is falling apart, and this, and I’m losing my house. No one posts the bad stuff on social media. What you see is, you know, happy people and smiling people and people on vacation and people getting promotions and people doing this and people doing that. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s fine.
Tyler Arvig: [00:07:09] But what that can lead to is, you know, when I look at my life, I’m not happy with a lot of things and I look externally at social media and everyone’s happy about things. And then, you start to feel like you’re less than other people, or they have their stuff together and you don’t. Well, that’s not the case. It’s just, again, people post happy things. They don’t post negative things sometimes. But it leads to a comparison that’s not an accurate comparison. You know, if we get a true apples-to-apples comparison, we’re probably all kind of in the same boat. We have some stuff that’s good. We have some stuff that’s bad. And most of the time, we’re somewhere in the middle. But consuming constant social media is one way to really get yourself mentally in the wrong headspace when it comes to these comparisons with others and comparing your own abilities.
Tyler Arvig: [00:08:09] Don’t let it stop you. This might seem kind of obvious, but, you know, Tom Hanks said every – you know, the first week of every movie, he has his doubts and he thinks he is going to get fired. He doesn’t quit the movie in that first week. Right? He keeps working.
Tyler Arvig: [00:08:30] So, as with most things in our lives that are negative or negative thoughts pushing through, most of the time what we’re going to find is that what we think doesn’t come to fruition. And, we only can figure that out if we keep pushing through. If we stop every time we hit a barrier, we’re never going to move beyond that barrier.
Tyler Arvig: [00:08:57] Most things we worry about never happen, which as a quick aside for any trivia buffs, Tom Petty said the best line he ever wrote in a song is, is most things I worry about never happen anyway. It’s just we worry about things. That’s what we do. Most of the time, those things never happen. So, if we let it stop us, then we’ve created a problem for ourselves in our lives. If those CEOs and those sports stars and all those other people stopped in their tracks because they felt, I’m really a phony, I’m not going to make it, they wouldn’t make it. So, don’t do that. And then, I already talked in social media, really, about comparing ourselves to others, but there’s really not much value in it. So, try not to do that as well.
Shane McNally: [00:09:46] What I really find interesting about imposter syndrome is that it’s something that I think most people could probably relate to at some point, both in the work environment and in personal lives as well. Imposter syndrome can have a negative impact on mental well-being of employees if left unaddressed. R3 Continuum can help. Connect with us and learn about our services at r3c.com or email us directly at email@example.com.
R3 Continuum (R3c) is a global leader in workplace behavioral health and security solutions. R3c helps ensure the psychological and physical safety of organizations and their people in today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable world. Through their continuum of tailored solutions, including evaluations, crisis response, executive optimization, protective services, and more, they help organizations maintain and cultivate a workplace of wellbeing so that their people can thrive. Learn more about R3c at www.r3c.com.
R3 Continuum is the underwriter of Workplace MVP, a show which celebrates the everyday heroes–Workplace Most Valuable Professionals–in human resources, risk management, security, business continuity, and the C-suite who resolutely labor for the well-being of employees in their care, readying the workplace for and planning responses to disruption.