We Are All Impostors

I recently started a new job. As usual with a new gig, it was and is great fun. But I knew it was coming. This time I got to the six-week mark before it kicked in. That little voice in my head that says, “Hey maybe you are crap at this, and YOU WILL BE FOUND OUT!!!”

Does anyone else suffer from this? If so, don’t worry you are NOT alone. It’s called imposter syndrome.

Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.

I think it comes from having a growth mindset. I don’t want to get caught up in buzz terms here, but I have noticed that people who keep trying to learn are more prone to imposter syndrome. I think it is because to fully learn you must be out of your comfort zone. You are in the area of I am not sure what I am doing, this is where you will make mistakes. But you NEED to make those mistakes to learn. As you are also making mistakes you can start to doubt yourself. 

So how does one combat this little doubt monster?

Honestly, I don’t have an answer. What I know has helped me is simply knowing what it is. I find if I start going down the dark road of, “I am not good enough”, taking a breather and realising this is in my head and not true has enabled me to keep going. 

I also think the best thing for this is talking. Tell folks who you work with about it, I guarantee they are feeling similar and may not even know what it is. The more we talk about it the easier it gets I have found. 

I also think not taking yourself too seriously can help here. Realising you will make mistakes and being able to laugh at them and learn from them is a big plus. 

A big win for me was discovering Paul McCartney gets it as well. One of the greatest songwriters of all time. Talking about his insecurities he said, “Just like anyone else, you have insecurities. ‘Cause everyone has them. And no matter how high and great and wonderful you get; there’s still something that will make you worry.” So, I figured if the guy who wrote yesterday still gets it, at least I am in very good company. Also, Pauls cure…KEEP BUSY!!!

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