Today's topic is a pretty serious one, as you can tell by the title. Impostor Syndrome is something I've struggled with and I've noticed many of my colleagues, friends and family have too. Since this is a feeling many professionals experience, I wanted to discuss my personal experiences and how I overcame them.

First thing's first: let's talk about what Impostor Syndrome is. Impostor syndrome is when a person doubts their accomplishments and has this constant feeling that they're a "fraud" and could potentially be exposed as one. If you've ever attributed your success to just being lucky, or making others believe you're more qualified than you are, you've probably experienced impostor syndrome.

how to ovecome impostor syndrome

Photo: Classic City Chic

My first experience with impostor syndrome was at my last job. I'd had a very successful interview and was so excited to receive and accept my official offer. After the first day of training, I thought to myself, "I have no clue how to do this job! How did I even get hired?!" I was changing into a completely new field and had no idea how my skill set would help me be successful in my new position. As time went on and I finished training, I began to wonder if my supervisor would start to think I was unfit for the position. It was a very overwhelming time for me and feeling like I didn't deserve to be where I was made it that much harder. I second-guessed myself a lot and every time I made a mistake I used that to justify my thoughts of "this is why I don't deserve to be here."

overcoming impostor syndrome at work

Photo: Classic City Chic

Photo: Classic City Chic

It took a few months for me to get past this feeling. Even after receiving an award for meeting/exceeding my key performance indicators (KPIs) for a full quarter, I felt like I didn't really deserve the award because I had a rotating position. This meant that the work I did wasn't 100% of the reason why I met my goals, other colleagues contributed to my success. I only accounted for 20% of the success of the sites I worked with. After discussing this with my supervisor, and downplaying my role in my success, he assured me that 20% is a bigger piece of the pie than I gave myself credit for. That conversation put things into perspective for me and I began the process to overcome my impostor syndrome. 

The first thing I had to do was be okay with making mistakes. I had to realize that I am human and new to this role, thus mistakes will happen. What was more important was learning from my mistakes and using each teaching moment to better myself. I had to keep in mind that there was no mistake I made that couldn't be undone. Whenever it was brought to my attention that I didn't follow a process correctly or made a mistake, I asked questions and took notes so I would remember the next time I was presented with a similar situation. This helped to ease some of the anxiety I had, and I began to feel more comfortable with my role.

My best advice on overcoming impostor syndrome. self confidence.

Photo: Classic City Chic

Photo: Classic City Chic

Another way I overcome impostor syndrome is by reminding myself that everything I've achieved is based on my own merit. Four years ago, I switched into a field I had no familiarity with and worked to become the best I could be. I used the soft skills I had to see me through and was diligent in learning everything in between. It was the work I put in that got me recognized by supervisors in a positive way. I had to learn how to be extremely flexible and learn new things constantly, which gave me a competitive advantage for my career. I stopped seeing my role as a minor part and realized that I was valuable and played a major role in setting up others for success. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of who you are and what you've done to get yourself to where you are in that moment. 

Lastly, knowing that I was not alone in feeling the way I did helped me overcome impostor syndrome. There's a lot of ambiguity in my current role, and sometimes I feel confused or that I'm not well-equipped to handle everything that gets thrown at me. After talking to others on my team and knowing they were once in my shoes, I felt much better. I think sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves we fail to realize that someone either was in our shoes once before or is currently feeling the same way we feel. Don't be afraid to open up to trusted co-workers, or even your boss, about how you're feeling. They can offer you both reassurance that you're doing a great job and share some of their stories from when they were a novice in the field. 

I hope sharing my story and some of my tactics has helped someone out there. I want you all to remember that you are worthy of everything you have. You should never feel guilty about what you've worked so hard for or that you'll be exposed as a "fraud". You are where you are because you've earned it, and no one can take that from you.

Know your worth be confident in yourself

Photo: Classic City Chic

Until next time,

Gl

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