It is paradoxical: Sometimes competence and uncertainty seem to go hand in hand. Those affected appear self-confident, are admired by colleagues and valued by superiors. But these people are secretly convinced that their success is only due to luck and luck. At some point, these people with an impostor complex think, the house of cards will collapse and everyone will realize that they are just showers.
Relentless pressure to succeed
Laura Empson has been researching and advising managers for 25 years. “I have met many highly intelligent, successful and apparently self-confident people who describe themselves as unsafe,” wrote the professor from the British Cass Business School in an article for the BBC.
Empson speaks of “insecure overachievers”, insecure people who perform above average. They are “exceptionally talented and extremely ambitious, but are driven by the basic belief that they are not up to the challenge”.
The scientific staff at Harvard Law School believes: “Unsafe performers are made, not born.” She attributes the complex to childhood insecurities. They could be financial, psychological, or physical. In her experience, insecure overachievers tend to apply to the best companies.
The reputation of these industry leaders rubs off comfortably on the insecure employees. According to the expert, such jobs can become a trap. Because the particularly high pressure to perform and compete with the supposed slicers quickly leads to them being physically and mentally exhausted for the job.
Tips for insecure top performers
Empson gives unsafe performers these tips to break out of the cycle of self-doubt:
# 1 Have your own definition of success
“Insecure Overachievers” are looking for constant recognition. According to the expert, they are therefore particularly susceptible to manipulation, for example in companies that incentivize the workforce through constant bonuses and layoffs. “If you are fully committed to work, you should choose a profession that promises success and that gives you pleasure, ”advised the expert. Quitting an inappropriate job is not a failure, but a sign of emotional maturity.
# 2 Recognize and celebrate success
High performers with self-doubt work hard for their success. If he sets in, he is quickly devalued and the demands placed on himself are raised one step further. According to Empson, this mechanism leads to astonishingly low self-confidence, even if an aura of infallibility is projected externally.
In the event of success, she gives those affected the good advice: “Remember how worried you were not to reach the goal and how often you were successful despite these doubts.” Ultimately, logic is the sword of Damocles of unfounded self-doubt: “Trust him Evidence of their continued success. “