One of the biggest challenges aspiring and current virtual assistants face is imposter syndrome. In this blog post, we will explore how it can affect the success of a virtual assistant, and practical strategies for overcoming it.
Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that appears when an individual doubts their abilities and feels like a fraud, despite evidence of their success. People with imposter syndrome often attribute their achievements to luck or external factors, instead of recognizing their hard work and talent. They may also fear being exposed as fraudulent, leading to anxiety, self-doubt, and a lack of confidence in their abilities.
Strategies for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome:
- Practice Self-Compassion
Self-compassion consists of recognizing that everyone makes mistakes and experiences challenges and that you’re not alone in feeling self-doubt or imposter syndrome. Practice self-compassion by reminding yourself of your strengths and accomplishments and reframing negative self-talk into positive, supportive statements.
- Identify Your Strengths and Achievements
Make a list of your strengths, achievements, and accomplishments. Focus on what you have accomplished rather than what you have not. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Recognizing your strengths can help you build confidence and overcome self-doubt.
- Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals for yourself can help you overcome imposter syndrome. Break your goals down into achievable steps and celebrate your successes along the way. Focus on progress, not perfection.
- Learn from Your Mistakes
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes. Instead, see them as an opportunity to learn and grow. Embrace a growth mindset and focus on continuous improvement. Recognize that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process and that they do not define you as a person.
- Seek Feedback
Asking for feedback from your colleagues, clients, or mentors can help you overcome imposter syndrome. Use the feedback to improve your skills and performance. Recognize that feedback is a valuable tool for growth and that it’s okay to ask for help when needed.
- Keep Learning and Growing
You can continually learn and grow in your skills and expertise. Investing in professional development can help you build confidence, expand your knowledge, and differentiate yourself from others.
How Imposter Syndrome Affects Virtual Assistants
Imposter syndrome can be particularly challenging for virtual assistants, as they often work remotely and independently, without the support and validation of a traditional office environment. Additionally, virtual assistants often have to prove their value to clients and constantly adapt to changing job requirements, which can increase feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy. To overcome imposter syndrome as a virtual assistant, it may be helpful to focus on building a solid support system and seeking feedback from clients and colleagues. Continuous learning and development are essential for virtual assistants. The #VAMOOCEU Project and its six accompanying resources present an indispensable opportunity for virtual assistants to refresh or renew their knowledge base. By doing so, virtual assistants can strengthen their confidence and minimize the detrimental effects of imposter syndrome on their work.
Charleson, K. (2021) What you should know about imposter syndrome, Verywell Health. Verywell Health. Available at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/imposter-syndrome-5089237
Wasley, D. (2020). How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome: Tips From a Google Career Coach. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/dawngraham/2020/01/15/how-to-overcome-imposter-syndrome-tips-from-a-google-career-coach/?sh=5fbd72852e5a
Young, V. (2011). Overcoming Imposter Syndrome. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-career-within-you/201112/overcoming-imposter-syndrome