Do you feel like everyone is secretly seeing through you? That you don't deserve success or a promotion? That you're a fraud? Let me tell you now, you are not alone. Imposter syndrome is something that so many of us feel strangulated by, so let's say it together, because we have earned our seat at the table:
WE ARE NOT IMPOSTERS.
Here are some things that I have found helpful; and more than just these tips, I hope that this newsletter will begin your journey back to self belief, so that you can get out there and go and kick some ASS!
1. Let's talk it out
There is one thing that always feeds the germs of imposter syndrome and that's not speaking up. Talking about any negative feelings does NOT make you look weak, or as if you don't deserve the job you have/or want. Talking makes you STRONG; it makes you the smarter person every time.
2. Once you've spoken, listen
Two things will happen (maybe not both, but definitely one or the other). Number 1, the person you are sharing your feelings with will turn around and quite literally list to you all of the reasons that you deserve to be where you are. Don't shrug them off, take it in, because they're right. Number 2, you will hear how they struggle with the exact same thing; everyone's experience of is different, and the more information you have, the easier you will find it to overcome.
ALERT...if the person you are speaking to does not take path 1 or 2...you need to breathe deeply and walk away. This is not a healthy friendship and you deserve better. You need cheerleaders.
3. Trust in the people you look up to
Who gave you your first job in the industry that you love? Do you think when they hired you they thought, 'Yeah, okay, they'll do.' NO. They hired you because they thought you were the best person for the job, and you are. Do you that think they deserve their position? Yes? Trust that they know what they're doing, because if you took the job, it's probably because you admired them a huge amount in the first place.
4. Fake it till you make it
Remember this: every professional was once an amateur. Your idol was once an assistant. Your dog was once a puppy (there's some sort of relevance in there, I'm sure). Imposter Syndrome isn't something that goes away, you have to work on your self confidence each day and believe that your success is rightfully earned. So until you believe that, just fake it. Keep doing what you're doing. Ignore the voice inside your head that's telling you that you don't belong, that the advertised job is for someone with more experience and just own the part you want to have; the rest will follow, I promise. (if you want proof feel free to stalk me on LinkedIn as I live by the 'fake it, til you make it' mantra)
5. Reward Yourself
Is it a pack of giant chocolate buttons because you had a killer meeting and you're one step closer to feeling like a boss? Is it gifting yourself a thirty minute break because actually getting through a shit ton of emails is an achievement in itself and you want to take yourself away from the screen. Do it.Keep rewarding yourself. Keep telling yourself that you're doing great. Keep picking yourself back up again when you feel like you're out of your depth. You've got this. We're in it together.
6. Help others
A really practical way to help others is to make recommendations on LinkedIn or give skills based endorsements. This is a really small act and I know from experience that receiving a recommendation from someone I look up to really helps my positivity and can-do attitude!