How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome
By Jailene Adorno
Have you ever been in a position where you felt that you weren’t as qualified for a job? Have you ever stopped and wondered how you got thisfar? This feeling is not unique to you, plenty of successful people, such as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and actor Don Cheadle, have gone through the “impostor syndrome.”
The impostor syndrome refers to when professionals aren’t able to truly enjoy their accomplishments for fear that they’ll be exposed as a fraud. It’s as if the professionals can’t believe that they’ve gotten as far as they have despite all of their hard work. They’re expecting someone to come out and show that they aren’t who they really say they are. It may seem like a silly or somewhat irrational fear, but it’s a real occurrence that professionals face from time to time.
I, too, have gone through the impostor syndrome. It left me wondering whether I had talent or if I was just lucky because I was able to pull something off. I kept feeling as if I was fooling people into thinking that I was an adequate writer instead of actually believing that I was. I found that voicing this concern to a friend made me feel better. I also learned that she, too, had gone through her own bouts of impostor syndrome.
Another way to try and overcome impostor syndrome is to think of all the steps you’ve taken to get to where you are today—make a list. Once you see what you’ve accomplished in the past, the actions that are taking place in the present won’t seem as jarring. This will give you the opportunity to see that, yes, you are qualified to do the work that you’re doing and that although you may feel that you’re just the same old person you were a few years ago, you’ve done so much during that time.
Lastly, come to terms with the phrase, “fake it til you make it.” Believe it or not, but that’s what most of us are doing. We may have the experience necessary to take our careers to the next level, but there’s a certain amount of faking that goes on to get to where we want to be. You’re not alone in this—oftentimes it’s when we feel as if we don’t know what we’re doing that we have the most control.
Have you ever gone through impostor syndrome?