Impostor Syndrome - How I Overcome It.
Do you ever feel like sometimes you’re an impostor?
Feel like you’re “winging it” and it’s a matter of time before someone calls you out?
I first heard of Impostor Syndrome from one of my friends (he’s a Counselor). We were talking about Anxiety and I was ranting about how I didn’t feel like I was good enough to get another job in IT – despite all the good feedback I've had and 5 years of being a top performer in my team.
He sat me down and explained it to me.
Impostor Syndrome is thinking you’re a fraud, even though there is sufficient evidence to say otherwise.
It’s basically Intellectual Self-Doubt.
When I decided to become a Digital Nomad/Blogger/Everything else, I was crippled with it. I went through phases of high aspirations with loads of confidence to MASSIVE amounts of self-doubt and negativity. Every Freelance job I saw, I immediately disregarded it because of my lack of experience and qualifications. Even with this blog, I still find myself comparing myself with more successful bloggers and telling myself that I’m not cut out for it.
The silver lining of all this is that I’ve learned a few tips to help overcome it and acknowledge yourself as the wonderfully powerful person you are:
Everything can be learned.
The amazing Hannah from Intrepid Introvert changed my mind frame with her advice for anyone working online post. It’s easy to tell yourself “I can’t be a technical writer, I don’t know anything about grammar” or “I can’t dropship because I don’t know anything about retail business”. The thing is, you can learn all of these things! You’ve learned things your whole life and your impatience shouldn’t stop you from learning more. If you want to be an Online Marketer, learn about Online Marketing! Take courses, go to seminars, read articles and immerse yourself in it.
Remember your achievements
In my case with the IT job, I looked back through my old Performance Reviews and my Professional Achievements and it refocused my mind. It made me realise that I am capable and a damn good IT Engineer! If you don’t have these reviews etc, sit down and cast your mind back then write down the evidence. “I can get through this job interview because I’ve been through 5 already” or “I can excel at Online Marketing because I’m interested, passionate and love social media”. It can be any evidence, just make a note of it to reference in the future.
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
This is one of my worst habits. There are millions of Travel Blogs, why should you read mine? I believe I provide value and nobody else can write my stories – it’s all personal! It’s almost automatic to start comparing myself with the “big wigs” and I sometimes don’t notice it’s happening until I’m wallowing and convincing myself I’m waaaay behind everyone else. One of my best friends once said to me: “don’t compare someone’s middle to your beginning” and I try to remind myself that everyone has a different life. I don’t know the challenges those people I’m comparing to have overcome. I don’t know how long it took them or the specifics to their story. We’re all different and everyone starts somewhere!
There are others like you, don't worry.
A lot of people suffer from Impostor Syndrome; it’s fairly common. Even Olympic athletes still think they’re not good enough. It can be a great thing for pushing yourself to improve but when you feel like a fraud and it impacts your confidence, you need to snap outta it! I’ve met bloggers on top of their game who still admit they are wingin’ it!
Telling yourself that “it’s just impostor syndrome” can help it become less menacing. Saying it out loud will take that fear and shrink it down to a few words then you can disregard it. I find that communicating with someone you trust can be the best therapy. Sitting down with them and explaining how you feel can help you acknowledge those feelings and they can help with the evidence to dispel your anxiety. I’ve done this with some of the amazing bloggers I’ve met and grown close to. It helps 10x over hearing support from your peers!
Once you learn to jump over the hurdle of Impostor Syndrome, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve. Learn to love yourself and acknowledge your strengths and achievements. You can do amazing things, don’t let comparisons, self-doubt or anxiety get in the way of it.
Go out there and be your best self!
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