You got that job, that you love but really you don’t deserve it. You are not up for it. Maybe you were in the right place at the right time. You are sure there were better candidates for it. And the list of excuses goes on and on.
Maybe you have been in your job for a while or recently promoted. You have the pressure to deliver, and the feeling that the company made a mistake giving you more responsibility.
As simple jobs are outsourced or done by clever new software, professional jobs are now more focused on complex tasks. This may be one of the reasons we are experiencing more and more this kind of pressure.
My opinion is that to try to overcome something, first we need to understand it. Let me share some of the things I have been learning about impostor syndrome. Let see if they can help you.
Impostor Syndrome. What is it?
It is the thought and sometimes the belief of not being enough.
According to phycologist Dr Jessamy Hibbed impostor syndrome may appear as:
- Fear of failure
- Low self-esteem
- Inability to accept compliments
Does any of these sounds familiar?
The truth is that you want to do well, and you worry you won’t meet expectations
There are many “impostors”
You are not alone, about 70% of us have experienced impostor syndrome to a degree. From top executives to new hires.
Many of us carry these thoughts constantly, which is exhausting. Also, very few of us will decide to share or ask for help, that is why is a bit of a lonely place to be.
Facts or feelings?
Impostor syndrome is a feeling, not a fact.
It’s a theory that we need to challenge. Question yourself: why I am so sure I am not enough? Where is this coming from?
Think about why you deserve all you have. The objective is to get rid of that emotional drain that you carry.
Your inner voice. Friend or enemy?
Listen to what you are saying to yourself
Is it helpful? Is it your voice?
Try to find a new voice (not easy), one that is kind to you. Find a new language to talk to yourself. Keep practicing even if if sounds wrong at the beginning. We can be sometimes our worst enemy and being nice to ourselves can feel very strange.
Aiming for perfection is a common trait on all of us impostors.
Be aware of all the positive things that are going on, and that some of them go wrong from time to time
The truth is that we cannot control everything. In fact, your wellbeing will suffer if your goal is being perfect all the time.
One way of doing this is paying attention of what we are doing, the process, more than this perfect end we are always looking for.
Don’t fear failure
Impostors have a mental spreadsheet where they log their mistakes and keep adding new ones as they come.
Mistakes are normal and healthy; they help us learn and move forward in a stronger way. Let them come and accept their value.
We spend too much time on failures, switch your mind to think of good things and spend some of your time on the good stuff.
Be aware, this is key. If you identify as an impostor, make a decision to change.
Look for strategies to help you, talk to trusted friends or colleagues.
Enjoy and acknowledge all the good things you do and the value you provide to your job.
Change your internal dialogue into a more positive one
This change of attitude will help you achieve more, not less.
If any of this resonate with yourself or your colleagues please get in touch, I’d love to hear your experiences.
Also, if you need help or would like a talk in your company about this issue please send me a note.