Worcester, United Kingdom, Tuesday 10 October 2023: On World Mental Health Day 2023 the Co-Founders of International Imposter Syndrome Awareness Day are issuing a “call to arms” to highlight how debilitating imposter syndrome can be, and to raise much more awareness of it in the tech and cyber security industries. They also want to encourage unmasking and normalising conversations around imposter syndrome and mental health challenges, and that acknowledging vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but a courageous step towards healing.
World Mental Health Day this year serves as a poignant reminder that many individuals grapple with internal battles beneath the surface of daily interactions, one of the most pervasive being Imposter Syndrome. This phenomenon, characterised by persistent self-doubt and the fear of being exposed as a fraud despite evident accomplishments, takes a toll on mental well-being.
According to a survey in 2018 from Blind, of the 10,400 cyber professionals questioned, over 58 percent admit to suffering from imposter syndrome despite working for major global companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon. It is clear that imposter syndrome is a huge problem in cyber security and tech, with it having a huge impact on mental health. Those who suffer from imposter syndrome are more likely to suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and social anxiety.
The cyber security and tech industries are also much more prone to individuals suffering from burnout and stress in their jobs. Burnout is a state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged exposure to the stresses of working in the cyber security field. It can lead to feelings of imposter syndrome, cynicism, detachment, and apathy.
To overcome feelings of imposter syndrome, the Co-Founders of International Imposter Syndrome Awareness Day have released some helpful tips:
1. Acknowledge Your Achievements: Create a record of your successes, big and small. Reflect on the skills and effort that contributed to these accomplishments.
2. Talk About It: Share your feelings with trusted friends, family, or colleagues. More often than not, they’ve experienced similar doubts and can offer valuable perspectives.
3. Challenge Negative Thoughts: Develop self-awareness and challenge negative self-talk. Replace destructive thoughts with affirmations and positive reframing.
4. Embrace Failure: Understand that setbacks are part of the journey. Instead of viewing them as confirmation of inadequacy, see them as opportunities for growth.
5. Set Realistic Expectations: Perfection is an unattainable standard. Set realistic goals and celebrate progress rather than fixating on perceived shortcomings.
6. Cultivating Authenticity: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome is a journey toward authenticity. Embrace your uniqueness, acknowledge your worth, and remember that everyone, even the most accomplished individuals, faces moments of doubt.
Lisa Ventura MBE, Nat Schooler and Kim Adele, Co-Founders of International Imposter Syndrome Awareness Day, said: “Having feelings of imposter syndrome can be extremely debilitating, so on World Mental Health Day we are opening up the conversation around the link between imposter syndrome and mental health, and are encouraging people to talk about their experiences of imposter syndrome to bring it out into the open.Imposter Syndrome thrives on secrecy and silence. Many individuals wear a mask, projecting confidence while concealing their internal struggles. On World Mental Health Day, let’s unmask and normalise conversations around mental health challenges.”
To find out more about International Imposter Syndrome Awareness Day and how you can get involved in the 2024 awareness day on 13 April, visit www.iisad.org.
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Originally appeared here.