Don’t Let Imposter Syndrome Hold You Back
Do you ever have moments when you think, “Why the heck would anyone trust me with this? I don’t have enough experience!”
There will likely be times when you’re feeling like you don’t belong—like you don’t have any right to be where you are—especially when you step outside your comfort zone.
This is called…wait for it…Imposter Syndrome.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
According to a medically reviewed article published by verywellmind.com, “Imposter syndrome is an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be as if you are a fraud. Despite being a "syndrome," it is not a diagnosable mental illness. Instead, the term is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, although it also has links to perfectionism and the social context.”
Imposter syndrome can hold you back from asking for a raise, accepting praise, or applying for a promotion.
People who suffer from imposter syndrome might also tend to overwork themselves in order to achieve the very high standards they’ve set for themselves—standards so high they are impossible to achieve. And when they don’t achieve them, they get stuck in a vicious cycle of believing that they are not good enough.
Imposter Syndrome as a Rite of Passage
When you’re first starting out doing something you’ve never done before, it’s very likely you’re going to feel that you are faking it—that you’re a fraud.
Think of starting your own business. Think about playing your first big game. Think of performing on the biggest stage you’ve ever performed. All of these experiences are stretching you outside your comfort zone and understandably, may make you feel inadequate.
It’s all just part of having a new experience. But what can you do when the feeling persists?
Just Keep Swimming
The best thing you can do is just keep going.
Get experience. Do the work. Then point to your own history that you created because you just kept going.
Don’t Let Imposter Syndrome Stop You
If you’re thinking of starting a business, don’t let imposter syndrome stop you.
Imposter syndrome is part of the process. It’s one of the hurdles every founder goes through and that’s fine. No matter how much you feel like you are a fraud or that you don't belong, don't let that stop you from pursuing your goals. Keep going and refuse to be stopped. In doing so, you will have gained invaluable experience and knowledge. At this point, no one can challenge you.
You have every right to be at this table.
Based on an excerpt from our BIZ/DEV podcast, Episode 44.