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Ways to Deal with Impostor Syndrome after Promotion

  • 30th Nov'21

“I still have a little impostor syndrome; it doesn’t go away, that feeling that you shouldn’t take me that seriously, what do you know? I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is.” – Michelle Obama.


For years, I kept doubting my abilities despite the visible success I had achieved. Every time someone praised my work, I had this feeling that I was not worthy of it. I started living in the fear that sooner or later, they would find out that I was a fraud, that I was cheating them the entire time. Now that I have grown past those difficult years, I have figured that I wasn’t the only one who dealt with such feelings of being good enough despite the success of their names. It is referred to as the impostor syndrome, and today, it has become a well-known concept. Even the most successful and renowned public people are known to have suffered from impostor syndrome.

But here is the more surprising thing I discovered on my journey to deal with impostor syndrome. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, actor Tom Hanks, actress Natalie Portman, revered author Maya Angelou, former first lady Michelle Obama, etc., have all suffered from impostor syndrome. Many notable people have lived with the same feeling of not being worth it enough for their success. Also, I am sure that many others like me have impostor syndromes too. Research has shown that approximately 70% of people suffer from impostor syndrome at some point in their life. After getting promoted in their workplaces, one critical phase is where people tend to develop or get overwhelmed by impostor syndrome.

We all look forward to earning a promotion as a means to measure growth in our careers. But imagine, the day you receive your promotion letter, instead of feeling proud, you end up feeling like a fraud. It is a terrible place for any of us to be in irrespectively. Therefore, here I’m sharing a few ways to beat impostor syndrome after getting promoted. But before we get to it, let’s look at what, exactly, impostor syndrome means?


What is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor syndrome is loosely defined as the fraudulent feeling where the person underestimates their abilities and considers all the achievements a product of fraud. It is mainly caused by the fear of not being good enough irrespective of the success attained. Overall, impostor syndrome is more common in high achievers who are unable to accept their accomplishments.


3 Ways to Deal with Impostor Syndrome after Promotion

Following are the three ways that I believe had helped me overcome my impostor syndrome when I first received my big promotion letter. As much as I was happy when I got to know about my promotion, I was equally devastated later in the day, thinking whether I deserved it. Soon the fear kicked in, too, as I kept thinking, what if now they find out that I am not that good and deserving of the promotion I received? Luckily, I have had friends and family I could talk to about such turmoil, and they helped me ease out of my impostor syndrome. There onwards, I started understanding more about dealing with impostor syndrome at the workplace after getting promoted. Here are some key findings you can try and hopefully help with your impostor syndrome in a similar situation.


Power Dressing

Ever since I learned about the benefits of power dressing, I have always made sure to follow it like stringently, especially at my workplace. The most significant advantage of power dressing is that you feel more authoritative and control your emotions better. Furthermore, even experts have backed power dressing at workplaces. When you power dress, you will likely feel more productive, positive, and engaged. The more you think that way, the better you can deal with your impostor syndrome.



Keep a List of Achievements

Now, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a list, but you can also document your achievements in the form of notes or journals. The reason behind this is to help you remind yourself of your accomplishments whenever you start to doubt your abilities. After all, impostor syndrome primarily affects under-confident people. Hence, by keeping a list or maintaining a note or journal of achievements, you can always refer back to times of doubt. Besides, a little bit of self-praise has never hurt anyone. So, if your promotion ever raises a concern that you do not deserve it, go through that list of your achievements. You will surprisingly forget about having any fraudulent feelings and instead might call yourself silly for doubting yourself.


Talk About It

You may have picked up on the fact that my friends and family helped me deal with impostor syndrome. Likewise, you can always do the same. Understand that there is nothing to feel ashamed about having such feelings, and many suffer from impostor syndrome daily. And ultimately, talking about impostor syndrome is the most effective way to overcome your impostor syndrome. So, even when dealing with impostor syndrome after a promotion, you can always talk about it with your friends and family.


Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.

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