It’s great in that we can generate so many new ideas and perceptions of the world.
It’s terrible when it starts working against us to undermine our own progress and success.
People who come up with great ideas or find success in some avenue of their life may find themselves dealing with imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is an internalized fear that a person will eventually be outed as a fraud.
They doubt their accomplishments, minimize their knowledge and experience, and doubt their own capabilities as a result.
Many successful people, from entrepreneurs to artists, experience imposter syndrome. And it is not limited to professional ventures either.
A person may experience imposter syndrome by being exceptionally good at a particular hobby, but not professionally trained, so they undermine their own skill and ability.
How can we overcome imposter syndrome and feel confident in our successes and abilities?
Understand that you don’t need to be the best at what you’re doing.
People who experience imposter syndrome may undermine their own skills and abilities by comparing themselves to people who are more accomplished or educated; people they perceive to be better at what they do.
You can just shrug and tell yourself, “Okay. I made this mistake. No big deal. Let’s find a solution.” And then you move on to the next part of what you want to accomplish.
Behind every successful venture there is often a string of bad decisions, failures, and restarts as the people involved refined and honed their approach. All you’re actually seeing is the end result of a lot of work.
Understand that you don’t need to have all of the answers.
A person suffering from imposter syndrome may feel like they are a fraud if they do not have all of the answers to the questions they are asked.
The problem with this mindset is that no one, even the most knowledgeable of experts, has all of the answers to every question they are asked.
It’s okay to not know things, just as much as it is okay to fail at things.
In fact, you can actually improve your credibility by admitting that you don’t know things when pressed on an issue that you’re not familiar with.
A lack of knowledge does not make you a fraud or an imposter. A lack of knowledge is something you’d expect.
There is a common trope where a person who learns about a subject realizes just how much they don’t actually know about it. It’s a trope because it’s the truth.
Knowledge about a thing helps illuminate where the gaps and holes are in what you think you know about the subject. That’s normal and to be expected.
Push through it and keep working, regardless of how you feel.
The unfortunate truth is that some people still feel a deep rooted sense of not belonging, even when they actively work to curb it.
You may find yourself struggling with imposter syndrome no matter how much you try to defuse or unwind it.
There are some people who have struggled with it even after a lifetime of accomplishments. People like Maya Angelou, Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and Neil Gaiman have all made public statements about feeling like frauds despite their accomplishments.
Sometimes we can’t escape the way that we feel, no matter how much we try.
The good news is that you can still choose to confront your fears and misgivings and push through them toward success.
You don’t have to let these negative feelings stop you or slow down your pursuit of what you want in life, what you want to accomplish, what goals you want to crush.
Don’t let your fears and feelings stop you.
Sort through them if you need to, remind yourself that imposter syndrome is not an accurate reflection of who you are, keep your eyes on your goal and go after it as hard as you can!