Raise your hand if you've ever felt it… that feeling of anxiety or insecurity about whether you deserve something. Whether you belong.
Imposter Syndrome is self-doubt. It's limiting beliefs. It's the fear of what would happen if everyone knew “the real story”… the back story… and are we even qualified for (insert the thing)?
What is Imposter Syndrome?
I first heard about Imposter Syndrome about 10 years ago. It crosses all fields. About 70% of the population has experienced it. Even brilliant people like poet and author Maya Angelou. Nobel Laureate Maya Angelou once said: “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.' ”
How You Might Feel
Imposter Syndrome is often experienced when someone is trying something new, or switching careers after a long period of time. While you might have felt entirely qualified in your prior position, you may experience feelings of inadequacy as you attempt to prove your “new” skills. Your may feel you're in over your head. You might not believe you were entitled to get (or take) the new job/part/offer.
It's rarely discussed but when it is, nearly everyone can relate.
How to Deal With It
- Remind yourself how common this feeling is… fear and excitement have equal physical reactions… tell yourself you are excited, not afraid.
- Stop comparing yourself to others, and especially do not compare your beginning to someone else's middle.
- Own your successes. Make an “Already Accomplished” list to remind yourself of your achievements.
- Re-frame your thinking. Don't expect to be perfect… expect to bring value. That's all.
- Fake it till you make it. You may have to psych yourself up/out to bring your A game, but if you do it enough times… it'll start to come naturally.
Want a copy of the 5-point checklist? It might be handy to look at when you need a reminder.
Other Resources ~ TED Talks About Imposter Syndrome
You may enjoy listening to these:
The Surprising Solution to the Imposter Syndrome ~ Lou Solomon (20 minutes) — at about 7 minutes she speaks specifically about artists