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From feeling like a fraud to finding your footing

People TSACare
People TSACare

If you’ve recently landed a new job, whether it be with a new company or an internal promotion, you may be feeling in over your head. Like you don’t have the skills or knowledge to do what you were hired for. That everyone else belongs and you don’t. Commonly, it may be said that you’re suffering imposter syndrome, but is that all that’s at play?


Shiny, new and overwhelming

Imposter syndrome is most common when we take on something we’ve never done before, like a new role or responsibility. Self-doubt and anxiety can cause you to question your own abilities and the constant strive for perfectionism becomes all-consuming. It often feels isolating but with research indicating at least 70% of people will encounter at least one episode of imposter syndrome in their lives, you’re far from alone.

Reframing a ‘syndrome’

The use of the word syndrome brings with it a whole other vibe. Imposterism was first discussed in a 1978 paper by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes, where they coined the term “Imposter Phenomenon”. While increased stress, anxiety, and even depression can be serious psychological effects in the constant struggle to prove yourself, it may be helpful to consider it as a moment in time, something you can work through and manage, rather than a lifelong disposition.

Is it all on me?

High performers and perfectionists are at an increased risk of encountering this phenomenon, but it’s not always an internal sense of feeling fake that is actually to blame. In The New Yorker article “Why Everyone Feels Like They’re Faking It, Leslie Jamison highlights the external factors that can also be at play; “they are feeling like this not because there is something wrong with them but because they are “enveloped in a system that fails to support them.” If you’re not receiving regular feedback or positive encouragement on the tasks you perform, it’s understandable to encounter self-doubt.

Chief Customer Officer at TSA Group, Blaine Slater, lives by the motto ‘progress not perfection’. He refers to it regularly in meetings, town halls, and in personal interactions. Accompanied with it is always the sentiment “we’ll all make mistakes along the way, but it’s our ability to own up to them, share what we’ve learnt from them, and work together that will see us succeed.” Such regular affirmations create an environment of self-acceptance, humanness, and support for one another, while also enabling an important disconnect from individual success towards communal effort.

Quit faking it till you make it

If you’re already feeling like you’re faking it, you’re probably quickly, if not already, feeling exhausted. Drop the mask and get confident with why you were chosen for the role and comfortable with the fact that no one knows what they’re doing a hundred per cent of the time.  

To combat feelings of inadequacy, consider these strategies: 

  • Initiate a Performance Check-In: Don’t wait for scheduled reviews; proactively seek feedback to understand how your work is perceived and where you can improve. 
  • Set Realistic Goals: Break down your responsibilities into manageable tasks and set achievable goals. Celebrate the small wins to build confidence and recognise your progress. 
  • Build a Support Network: Connect with colleagues who can provide perspective and support. Sharing experiences can help you realise that these feelings are common and not a reflection of your actual abilities. 
  • Focus on Learning, Not Failure: View challenges as opportunities to learn rather than a measure of your worth. Embrace mistakes as part of the growth process. 
  • Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself and recognise that no one is perfect. Allow yourself to be a work in progress.

You earned this

Feeling like an imposter at times is a part of the human experience, especially in environments that push us to grow. These feelings don’t define your worth or capabilities. They reflect your ambition and the natural discomfort that comes with stepping into anything new. It’s important to take note and reflect on your situation, acknowledging your feelings without letting them overpower your sense of self. 

The path to overcoming it lies in silencing the doubts but engaging with them constructively, using them to build a more authentic and confident self. Remember, the fact that you’re questioning means you’re growing, and with growth comes the power to shape your own story, one where you are the deserving protagonist.



TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX Consultancy and Contact Centre Services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.

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