Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
If you haven’t heard the term imposter syndrome before, I bet you have experienced it. Have you ever started putting a project together about something you know extremely well and thought to yourself, ‘what if this is actually all wrong?’, or ‘there are people out there way better equipped to do this than me’? That’s imposter syndrome. Some people experience it in brief spurts and others experience it all the time. The more those thoughts creep in, the more paralyzing they can be to your success.
Imposter Syndrome occurs when you believe you are not properly equipped to be an expert in your field, which creates a fear that people will see you as a fraud.
Chances are, those thoughts you are thinking aren’t fair to you. Think about how you came to be the expert that you are. You didn’t just make up all that information, you learned it, over time, out of interest for the subject. If that’s the case, then don’t sell yourself short and convince yourself you aren’t worthy of being an expert.
If you have ever looked at someone else creating something awesome in their field of expertise and thought that you were at least equally as qualified, then that’s the voice you should listen to. Get started and see where it takes you. You might surprise yourself at how successful you can be.
If you assume that those around you know more about a subject than they really do, that can contribute to your feeling of being a fraud. Especially when a topic comes easily to you, it can be hard to imagine that not everyone has that same knowledge you do. After all, you didn’t have to try that hard to learn it, right? But trust me, in most cases, they really, really don’t.
Overcoming imposter syndrome does require putting yourself out there, and often it will mean feeling vulnerable to the critique of others. So gather up all the courage you can find and lay it all out for the world to see. If you know your stuff, then there is no reason to be worried. That doesn’t mean you won’t be worried, but I promise it gets easier in time. The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunity you have to validate what you are doing, and the more validation you receive, the easier it is to keep putting yourself out there.
Over time, you will think less and less of those ‘am I really a fraud?’ thoughts and the thoughts you do have will get easier to ignore. You will come to realize that you really are the expert you hoped you would be and the world is better off because of it.