Dealing with imposter syndrome is something most of us have struggled with at some point in our lives.
Imposter syndrome can paralyse us into not taking the actions we need to do for our dreams.
But it doesn’t have to.
My story and challenge with imposter syndrome
Every sat I struggle with the feeling I am not good enough to run my blog.
My blog focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The blog is about my story learning these techniques.
It’s my story, mine. Who could be better at telling my story than me?
Yet every day I still worry I’m not good enough to tell the story.
I feel like an imposter.
I worry that I’m not good enough, not technical enough and not experienced enough.
Can anyone else relate?
Why do you feel like an imposter?
It’s crazy that I feel I’m not good enough.
Of course, I’m qualified to tell my own story.
Not just that, I have a Masters degree in a technical field, I do the work to teach myself programming, and I used to be a mathlete.
So why do I feel, and why do so many of us feel like imposters when we shouldn’t?
Enter imposter syndrome.
What is imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome occurs when an individual cannot see their own successes and undervalues their own performance.
When dealing with this syndrome, people feel like their achievements are not valid. This can cause them to get frustrated or stressed out at work. It can also lead them to self-sabotage.
What are the symptoms that you feel like an imposter?
According to research 62 and 70% of people will experience imposter syndrome at some point in their lives.
These 6 symptoms are associated with imposter syndrome.
Fear of failure:
An irrational fear of failure that can hold the sufferer back from trying new things or taking on additional responsibility.
Need to be the best:
A need to prove themselves to be the best causing then to strive for perfection and hold themselves to unattainably high standards.
Overworking to burnout:
Pushing themselves so hard that they thenburnout.
The imposter cycle:
When succeeding in a task, the sufferer will immediately experience fear over what will happen next.
The struggle between achieving success and being found out as an imposter prevents the imposter syndrome sufferer from reaching their potential.
Attribute any success to outside factors:
Even when succeeding the person will not attribute this success to their own hard work but instead, say it was luck or circumstance.
Imposter syndrome can be a real challenge for suffers. The symptoms can impact a person for life both in and outside of work.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
You could see imposter syndrome as a benefit.
How to harness the power of your imposter syndrome
Up until now, we have focussed on the challenges associated with imposter syndrome and how it makes you feel.
But now I want to change the narrative.
A couple of years ago I read an article in Forbes magazine about how dealing with imposter syndrome makes you a better worker.
The article really resonated with me.
The focus was on feeling like you’re not qualified or good enough for a job pushes you to do better.
Now I’m not saying you should work yourself into the ground. In fact, I am entirely against this.
Positive mental health and wellbeing are so crucial for your happiness and productivity.
However, feeling like an imposter means that you are challenging yourself in your work.
Imposter syndrome can also help you with keeping your ego in check. This ego checking, in particular, is excellent for helping you to make better decisions humbly.
Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
You should Harness the power of feeling like an imposter
I hope I have helped you to realise that there is power in feeling like you don’t belong somewhere.
It should never stop you from pursuing your dreams.
Remember that just because you feel like an imposter doesn’t mean you are.
I’ll end on a couple of tips to help you manage imposter syndrome that have helped me:
Look at the data:
When you are worried about your own performance and feel like you don’t belong, take a step back. Look at what you have achieved. Be honest with yourself, if your best friend had done everything you have done would you tell her she was an imposter? No, you wouldn’t, so why are you doing it to yourself?
Opportunity to learn:
Use your fears as an opportunity to learn more about the area you are feeling an imposter in. There are many benefits of lifelong learning. See this as an opportunity to take advantage of them!
Remember it’s in your head!
This is hard to do, but you have to remember that you belong there. You wouldn’t be there if you didn’t deserve it, so remember that!
What are your thoughts on this topic? Let me know in the comments.