Have you ever felt that even though you got the job, knocked the interview process out of the park, and are exceeding expectations you are still underqualified for your current role, and one day someone is going to walk into your office and expose you for the fraud that you feel you are? You’re not alone; so many successful people have felt this way there is now a term for it – Imposter Syndrome.
Impostor Syndrome exists when you are unable to internally process your achievements, leading to constant fear of being exposed for a fraud. It comes down to you not feeling you’re good enough to be at your level of success, even though all the signs and steps leading up to it have proven your ability. Impostor syndrome affects individuals at all stages of life and career. From an entry level marketing intern to the CEOs of the world, there can be a crippling fear that you don’t deserve your success. Take Tom Hanks for example. He has reached the pinnacle of success, acted in countless great movies, won awards, and is rich beyond imagination. However, here’s what he says regarding Impostor Syndrome, “No matter what we’ve done, there comes a point where you think, ‘How did I get here? When are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?’”
You’re not alone; we all feel it. What do you do with these emotions when you experience them? How do you leverage them for good, instead of furthering feelings of anxiety and even depression? Here are a few tips:
- Breathe and remember truth. Stop focusing on the anxiety and feelings of “I don’t belong here.” Instead, focus on the fact you had a hand in your success and deserve to be there. You hustled, moved, put in the work, and became competent in your field. You deserve it. The company you work for believed it so much they wanted to hire you. Remember truth. When you let your brain start forming lies about who you are and your ability, you rob yourself of the good you can bring to yourself and to your company.
- Talk to someone. Get a mentor, friend, or co-worker, grab some coffee and vent. What are you feeling because those emotions need to be discussed. If you sit on these feelings you’re more likely to do what you fear: fail.
- Create more and become better. Experiencing Imposter Syndrome does not have to be a bad thing. You can channel it to make yourself better. If you find yourself comparing your work to others, use those feelings to motivate you to do even better and go even further.
Impostor Syndrome does not have to define you. It is something we all face, but how you handle these feelings will either set you up for failure in your career or turn into the fuel you need to create even more success. Leverage it for greatness and do not settle, even once, for “I’m not good enough.”