Have you ever heard of imposter syndrome? Or better yet, let me ask the question in a different way. Have you ever looked at a colleague and thought to yourself, "Wow, that person is waaay better than I am at this"? Sure you have. But what you don't realize is that colleague may be thinking the same thing about you.
Imposter syndrome is the belief that no matter what you accomplish, you'll never be as good as people think you are... and one day those people are going to figure out you're a fraud! You may not even be aware that you're experiencing it. Yet, everywhere you go, you feel inadequate or undeserving of the recognition you're receiving.
The good news is, you're not alone. Everyone experiences these feelings from time to time. Even award-winning celebrities like Tina Fey and Denzel Washington have admitted to enduring imposter syndrome. Kate Winslet once confided that, “I’d wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and think, I can’t do this. I’m a fraud.” And, actor Don Cheadle has also shared sentiments of only being able to see the things he was doing wrong. Sounds familiar?
So now that you know what imposter syndrome is, how do you fight it?
The first step is acknowledging that what you're feeling are simply thoughts. This allows you to put some distance between yourself and those powerful emotions. Secondly, read up on the subject. The greatest fear for humans is the unknown. Likewise, the more you know about something, the less scary it becomes; the more easier it is to manage. Below this article you'll find a few book titles that have been extremely beneficial to many people. But also consider following these practical tips:
Accept positive feedback. Embrace it because you've earned it! Too many times we dwell on the things we've done wrong, while completely dismissing the things we've done right.
Don’t attribute your successes to luck.
Don’t attach negative connotations to your successes. Words like "merely," "only," "simply," or "probably," devalue your accomplishments.
Recognize that not everyone is as confident as they appear to be. More often than not, that outwardly boisterous and over-confident individual is probably the least confident on the inside. Real confidence doesn't have to be proven to others.
Remember that YOU are your worse critic! No one is judging you harsher than you are. And when you do something wrong, no one makes you feel worse about it than you. So, just as you wouldn't want to be a jerk to others, don't be a jerk to yourself!
These are the best books about fighting imposter syndrome.