Tackling The Impostor Syndrome
You wake up one day and go to work as usual. A few weeks back, you and your team had completed an enormous project, so when you walk in today, you find out that they assigned an even larger project to you guys. You are to develop a website for an essential client that has recently contracted your company. The pressure kicks in, you feel anxious; you feel like you might be getting exposed for the fraud you are, you feel–the impostor syndrome.
This phenomenon has been with the human race for years. Experts claim that up to 70% of the population will experience impostor syndrome at some point in their lives. Let’s dial it back a notch, shall we? The Impostor syndrome’s definition is that it is a psychological pattern characterized by self-doubt and a recurring fear of being exposed as a fraud. The impostor syndrome can also be characterized by an overestimation of one’s skill level since one lacks a sense of self-awareness.
It happens to us everywhere, from sports professionals to high-performing corporate executives, all the way to high school students that are well prepared for a test. This article aims to direct you on several steps for beating impostor syndrome. However, do not expect the feeling to disappear immediately; instead, work on the steps continuously while exercising some patience.
Recognize and Share
You are working on the project and realize that a particular task, for example, connecting some API to the website’s front-end, is proving difficult. You will feel shameful at first but try and accept that it is happening. Find a person you trust or a group of friends you talk to, and inform them of your feelings. Knowing that you are not alone is the first step to beating the process.
Feelings Are Not Facts
You seek assistance from a friend on the API issue, and they provide a solution that seems so simple that it leaves you feeling stupid. However, it is crucial to understand that this is just a feeling; feeling stupid does not mean that you are dumb; it is just a temporary feeling.
Feeling A Fraud: When Should It Happen?
There are situations where you accomplish milestones that people you relate to have not achieved yet. Say you are the first in your school to qualify for the State Championships, or you are the first female president of your company. At this juncture, you will feel the pressure to represent the whole group of people like you, which will eventually lead to self-doubt.
Recognize this and remember that it was not luck that got you there; it was hard work. Borrow from that experience and keep growing.
Be Positive About It
Maybe you work at an electronic repair shop, and the manager specifically requested that you request repair parts from the usual supplier. Still, on careful research, you found better products on www.rydtooling.com. The decision was bold, but the manager has not yet given feedback, and now you’re anxious. Caring deeply for a project’s results is not bad; however, self-doubt feelings should not accompany the concern.
Where effort is required, serve it; when an action is necessary, execute it, and if you doubt you can do it, remember you just completed the previous task. Each time you think you have failed, do not beat yourself up about it, instead, be patient and proceed with other tasks. Who knows, you could even get a promotion just by thinking out of the box if the results get your superiors’ approval.
Change Your Rules
Sometimes we mislead ourselves by thinking that we should always know what to do at any given point in time; this should not be the case. Maybe you do not know how to deploy a website or fix a broken sink. Change your mindset by recognizing opportunities to understand what is happening and asking for assistance, and learning from this process.
Be Conscious of Your Thoughts
Everyone experiences a conversation in their head at some point; it is important to listen to these thoughts and positively receive them. Maybe the client has requested that the team implements a programming language that you are not well skilled with; take the time to learn this new technology instead of convincing yourself of the impossibility that you might understand such a thing.
Create A Mental Picture of Success
Borrowing from professional athletes, create a mental picture of how the completed project will look, how happy the client and your boss will be, and the company’s reward to your team. The mental picture is better than imagining disaster since, as the song goes, “thoughts become things.”
Reward Your Efforts
To ensure you execute your tasks more often, implement rewards for each milestone reached–this will act as your driving factor each time you experience self-doubt.
Put Yourself Out There
Sometimes all we need to do is make mistakes to learn, implement the old saying “fake it till you make it” as you execute each challenging task that comes your way.
The Impostor syndrome can heavily undermine the will to learn; recognizing that it is a feeling but not fact will help tackle it each time it appears. It is essential to realize that this phenomenon will be recurring as you progress with your career, hobby, education, or business, etc. Implement a system for your team to keep in touch about it when it happens.
Leading by example is part of the most effective path towards success. If you own a business or company, ensure that this entity speaks publicly about the issue. Be hands-on as it will help others trust the system.