Building your confidence & overcoming imposter syndrome

As a 23 year old PR Account Executive, the fear of imposter syndrome is very real. What I didn’t realise though, is that no matter how senior you are, what job title you have or how long you’ve been in the game everyone feels like a fish out of water sometimes. 

Since graduating university last year, I was thrust into the world of work with a few internships under my belt. However nothing could have prepared me for that ‘feeling’ and boy, was it a shock!

Whilst imposter syndrome might feel wildly isolating, it’s good to know there is safety in numbers when it comes to how many people experience it. I have a few tips and tricks on how I have personally overcome it. I only wish I knew these tips years ago so I hope it helps you to!

5 ways to cope with imposter syndrome

  1. Know the signs: ‘I don’t belong here’ ‘I am just lucky’ ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’. Sound familiar? Sometimes we struggle to see or may even overlook the signs of imposter syndrome. For a long time I felt ‘lucky’ to have a job in the media industry because it’s so competitive and I had a paralysing fear of failure. However once I started reflecting on my language choices and how I viewed myself I was able to distinguish how this affected my professional life and switched to more positive self-talk.

  2. Embrace the fear: When first starting out fresh out of university, I was beyond terrified of doing or saying the wrong thing. This made my imposter syndrome worse and fear became the thief of my joy. The best advice I can give to overcome this is to seek feedback. I am always asking for feedback on pitches, reports, media lists etc, so I can continue learning and growing in my role.

  3. Self fulfilling prophecy: When it comes to a new job, hobby or anything that you may feel like an outsider on, the best thing to do is to not self sabotage. We all know what it's like when we try to girlboss close to the sun! Working at Full Fat and being surrounded by other positive and successful people has really boosted my confidence and allowed me to believe if they can do it, so can I.

  4. Be kind to yourself: I know this might be easier said than done, but like with everything in life, we are all just winging it so the best thing to do is be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack. No one knows 100% what they are doing all the time and the best part is that you get to learn and challenge yourself. I personally found that I was making much more progress than I thought when I was guilty of constantly talking myself down. Be your biggest champion, not critic.

  5. Speak to your manager: A problem shared is a problem halved. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to overcoming imposter syndrome. When you start to notice the signs may be kicking it, do your best to communicate with your line manager - they are there to help you. This might feel like a daunting prospect but trust me they have been where you are and will provide you with the support you need. 

All in all, practising these tips may be hard at first and being comfortable with your own success can always feel overwhelming, but just remember you are meant to be where you are and each journey looks different to everyone else. 

This piece was written by Buce Satimburwa, Account Executive at Full Fat 

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