Imagine being told that you are misleading everyone and not doing your job very well. Now imagine that you yourself are constantly reminding yourself of this. This is called impostor syndrome.
First described in 1985, this syndrome causes people to believe that their accomplishments are undeserved. It seems that any success in their life can be explained by luck or manipulation of other people’s opinions.
This happens to even the most successful people. It’s hard to believe this because they have achieved a lot. But the impostor syndrome is not based on the real state of affairs but a person’s distorted view of reality. Here are four things you can do to combat this thinking.
Report your progress
Ask a friend or colleague to help you track your goals and communicate honestly what is good at your job and what can be fixed or improved. This will help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses and feel more confident. You can agree to help each other.
For example, you both set goals for the year in several areas of your life. Now check your progress once a quarter to see if you have lost your way if you need to speed up. And every few weeks, discuss what steps you have taken to achieve these goals.
Save compliments, and thanks.
“I can get a hundred compliments, but after hearing from one person ‘You don’t deserve it,’ I believe him,” said Tobias van Schneider, former art director of Spotify.
If you, too, are used to brushing off compliments and praises, start keeping what others say about you. You can create a personal Trello board for this, write everything down to a regular document, or save screenshots with kind words in a separate folder.
This may sound like self-admiration, but it is actually a real reminder that you and your work are valued and respected, that they are ready to turn to you for help.
Share your experiences with others.
We often take our knowledge for granted, especially if we have worked in one field for a long time. In doing so, we forget that there are always people who can benefit from our experience. Try to share with others:
- Look for meetings of interest that touch on topics that are important to you.
- Look for organizations in your area of interest that need volunteers.
- Host a dinner table workshop in your office and share your knowledge.
- Contact the university where you studied and see if it is possible to lecture on a topic.
When you see how your experience and knowledge really help people, you will no longer feel like you have nothing worthwhile to offer.
Understand that failure is inevitable on the road to success.
The fear of failure or the feeling that you are not worthy of success not only gets in the way of the present. They can damage the future as well. We begin to create obstacles and difficulties ourselves so that later we have something to explain our failures.
If you are afraid to fly an airplane, you will be advised to fly more often to get used to the process and perceive it as ordinary. It’s the same with the fear of failure. To get rid of it, you need to force yourself to act and accept that failure constantly is a natural part of the path.
Then you will begin to see the positive side of failure – the opportunity to try something new, getting out of your comfort zone. And this will help to grow and develop.
Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff
Sources: Life hacker