We HATE Imposter Syndrome, it’s a real dick. It means we continuously doubt our skills, talents, or accomplishments and have a fear of being exposed as a fraud. Here is the deal, many of us believe it is our fault we feel this way, but in reality it’s the result of a society that has never seen us as equals.
According to Harvard Business Review it disproportionately affects high-achieving people, mostly women, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments.
When it was first coined in the 70s, it didn’t take into account the systemic racism and bias women face. HBR says the answer to overcoming imposter syndrome is not to fix individuals but to create an environment that fosters a number of different leadership styles and where diversity of racial, ethnic, and gender identities is viewed as just as professional as the current model.
Sounds simple (that was sarcasm). Listen, we can’t fix society but we can develop some strategies for dealing with the shit hand we’ve been dealt.
Get by with a little help from your friends
Get yourself a group of people who will be brutally honest, but also help you bury a body if necessary. We don’t condone this, it’s simply a solid characteristic to look for in a support network. When you’re doubting yourself, these individuals will tell you to stop being an idiot and to believe in yourself. When you don’t think you can do it, they’ll be right there to tell you that you absolutely f*cking can.
Since you’re not going to believe yourself, make sure you have the right people on standby to instill the confidence in you.
Working 9 to 5
Work for a business that pushes you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to tell imposter syndrome to f*ck right off. In fact, this blog is dedicated to the amazing peeps working at 8THIRTYFOUR who struggle to own their talent and smarts. Don’t work anywhere that honesty, transparency, accountability and growth aren’t the norm.
Stop being mean to YOU. Show yourself the respect you absolutely deserve. When you hear that voice in your head, know it isn’t you…it’s the devil on your shoulder. You are worthy of everything that comes your way, but you have to own it. Wake up every morning and give yourself a pep talk:
I am worthy. I am smart. I am passionate…and I am going to kick this day’s ass.
Remember, confidence doesn’t have anything to do with competence and confidence can be faked. Tell that voice in your head to f*ck right off, ’cause you are capable, smart, and damnit people like you.