Oh yes. That age old adversary "Imposter Syndrome".
For those that don't know, Impostor Syndrome is a psychological pattern where individuals doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud".
Despite evident success or competence, those experiencing this syndrome feel they do not deserve their achievements and attribute them to luck or manipulation rather than to their skills.
Interestingly, imposter syndrome is a common experience in the hospitality industry.
It can affect anyone, regardless of their level of experience or education. It has affected me.
Why Is It Prevalent In Hospitality?
It is thought that some of the factors in Hospitality that can contribute to imposter syndrome are:
High-pressure work environment: Hospitality professionals are often under a lot of pressure to perform well, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy.
Constant customer interaction: Hospitality professionals are constantly interacting with customers, which can make them feel like they are constantly being judged.
Fast-paced work environment: The hospitality industry is known for its fast-paced work environment, which can make it difficult to keep up and feel like you are always doing your best.
Lack of diversity: The hospitality industry is still relatively male-dominated in senior management roles, which can make women and other minority groups feel like they don't belong. (I have discussed diversity in previous blogs)
Help is at Hand
If this sounds all too familiar to you, then worry not dear reader, help is at hand.
1. Recognise Impostor Feelings: The first step to overcoming impostor syndrome is to recognise when you're feeling like an impostor.
Realise that everyone experiences moments of doubt and that it's normal to have these feelings from time to time.
Reflecting on past achievements can also be helpful in reminding you of your abilities and skills.
2. Self-Affirmation: Make a habit of reminding yourself of your accomplishments.
Some people keep an accomplishment diary, a tangible reminder that reminds them of their successes and positive feedback. By regularly reviewing your achievements, you can develop a more positive view of your abilities.
3. Accept Imperfection: Nobody is perfect. Accepting that you can make mistakes and that it doesn't make you a fraud is an important step.
Failure and mistakes are opportunities for learning and growth, not indicators of incompetence.
4. Seek Support: Discuss your feelings with trusted friends, mentors, or professionals. Often, others have felt the same way and can provide reassurance, perspective, and constructive feedback. They can also help you see your accomplishments in a realistic light.
5. Stop Comparing: Comparing yourself to others often fuels impostor feelings.
Everyone has different skills, abilities, experiences, and timing, so it's not a fair comparison.
Focus on your own growth and accomplishments instead of comparing them with others.
Remember: you are not alone.
Imposter syndrome is a common experience, and there are things you can do to cope. If you are struggling, reach out for help and don't be afraid to talk about how you are feeling.
If you are struggling with anxiety or any of the issues raised above, please call the Hospitality Action Helpline on: 0808 802 0282
Lines are open 24/7