Tips to Overcome Impostor Syndrome
Impostor syndrome is typically associated with high achievers. So, if you feel like a fraud, the chances are that you’re more capable than you think.
Impostor syndrome will have you thinking that you got to where you are because you managed to fool someone else into thinking you deserve something that you actually weren’t qualified for.
Imagine yourself telling all the people you think you have fooled about how you tricked them. How would they respond?
Most likely, they would tell you that they didn’t give you a good grade, promotion or award because you charmed them; they might even be annoyed that you doubt their professional judgment.
I am plagued with underselling myself. If you’re anything like me, I encourage you to vocalize your self-assessments so others whose opinions you trust can help you recalibrate your own expectations of yourself.
Impostor syndrome is ridiculous because you’re afraid of being found out as a fraud but the way I’ve found to combat is to tell people you’re a fraud and let them tell you the ways in which you’re not.
People who experience impostor syndrome tend not to talk about how they are feeling with anyone and struggle in silence.
Please do the opposite: ask for help from peers and mentors, share your struggles with those around you, reflect on your failures and successes in public.
During a group meeting, I actually asked the other product managers to share their experience of and tips for dealing with impostor syndrome. This conversation allowed us to not accept struggling in silence and instead create an environment in which we are all open to supporting each other rather than subconsciously trying to prove ourselves.
The very same people you are trying to hide being a fraud from are the very same people who could help you excel if you were to ask.
Use other people as inspiration for your own potential rather than an opportunity for self-criticism.
Ask those people how they got to where they are, how you can support them, and actively follow through on doing so. Engage with people’s content, share opportunities with each other, and build an environment on the belief that there is enough to go around for everyone.
The problem with impostor syndrome is that it pathologizes learning. Give yourself the grace to be a lifetime learner and don’t mislead yourself into believing that because you’re learning, you’re losing.
The gap between your skills and others isn’t important, it’s your attitude behind being willing to close it. Take every opportunity to learn and grow into your goals and even surpass all the situations that intimidate you now.
Take what you fear and shift your perspective around it:
Instead of saying “I can’t apply to this job because I don’t meet all the unicorn requirements and I’ll look stupid if they hire me.”
Say “If I apply and get this job, I will learn and grow extensively which is what makes this such a great opportunity.”
The things that make you are afraid are the very same things that can make you grow.
𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗮 𝗳𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗱, 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗳𝗿𝗮𝘂𝗱𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻❓
No one was born knowing anything they do now; 𝘸𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘥.
The people who seem so accomplished learned to get there and so can you.
Why do you think about giving up when your performance dips or your results drop? Why do you question your entire ability because of a lackluster moment that is a blip on the achievements of your entire lifetime?
Learn to rest when things take a dip, not to quit.
In the words of my queen, Beyonce, “a winner don’t quit on themselves.”
The only real ammunition or kryptonite to impostor syndrome is having a growth mindset.
Whether you’re an impostor or not is not the question, the question is how do I take the resources that I have at my disposal to grow into the person who I admire most.