Throughout my career in HR as a working mum there have been many occasions when I’ve experienced imposter syndrome.  Feelings of imposter syndrome can affect anyone.

  • Do you feel undeserving of the position or job title that you have?
  • Do you compare yourself to others and think that they’re better than you?
  • Do you fear being judged for not being good enough?


If you do, then you may be experiencing symptoms of imposter syndrome.  The dictionary definition of imposter syndrome is; “anxiety or self-doubt that results from persistently undervaluing one’s competence and active role in achieving success, while falsely attributing one’s accomplishments to luck or other external forces.”

You probably wear many hats in day-to-day life. In your role as an HR professional you’re often the facilitator and connector which means you don’t always have the answers.  You carry the responsibility of creating a fair and ethical workplace on your shoulders.  Due to the nature of the role, there are often very few people that you can confide in or use as a sounding board.  Along with that you may be a first-time parent navigating a return to work or you’ve recently been promoted into your first HR Manager role, or you may be the only HR person employed in your organisation.  Any of these scenarios can increase the feelings of imposter syndrome particularly when going through a period of change.

“Four in five (80 per cent) HR professionals have experienced imposter syndrome at work” is the stat stated in an article in People Management by Dan Cove (19th September 2023)!

Step 1 – Acknowledge

The feelings that you experience are natural, and the first step is acknowledging the feeling; to start to change the patterns of behaviours that are unhelpful to you such as; feelings of guilt, feelings of anxiety, procrastination or overworking.  You’re trying to be something to everyone and not thinking about yourself.

Write the feelings down and journal on them, what are the feelings that you experience? How do they affect you?

By recognising the signs of imposter syndrome, you can start to identify what this means to you and the underlying reason for the story that you tell yourself.

Step 2 – Let go

The next step is to let go of those feelings of imposter syndrome.  Identify what your values are and   create your boundaries.  Clients I work with use a visualisation technique to help them embody the feeling of confidence and success.

Step 3 – Reframe

Change your perception and the inner narrative that you’re telling yourself by making a list of your achievements in your journal and refer to it when those feelings arise to remind yourself of the facts.

Step 4- Use an affirmation

Develop an affirmation that you can write down and say to yourself.  For example instead of saying “I’m not good enough” say “I am good enough.”  Keep it simple!

Step 5 – Speak up

It’s human nature to protect ourselves from the ‘thing’ that makes us feel uncomfortable. 9 times out of 10 it’s never as bad as we think it’s going to be.  Talking to someone and sharing the thoughts or feelings that you’re experiencing will help to dissipate them.

Working with a coach can help you to identify the patterns and find ways to address these and develop techniques to help overcome imposter syndrome.

Believe in yourself!  You are good enough!  You are deserving!

I’d love to have a chat to see how I can support you to overcome the feelings of imposter syndrome through coaching. Please visit my profile page where you can book an intro call with me.

This article was written by  Rachel Norrington one of our partner coaches. Rachel helps HR professionals to find their ‘happy place’ through career and life. Rachel offers a free discovery call please book it using this link or can get in touch via Rachel’s profile page.