For many of us being successful is far more complicated than thriving in the work place. Despite overwhelmingly positive performance reviews, a promotion or two, and pleasant relationships with co-workers, some of us still feel like we are not really capable of doing the job. This feeling is a symptom of what researchers Clance and Imes from Georgia State University refer to as “Imposter Syndrome.” If on paper you are a model employee, but deep down you feel like you are a fraud- you suffer from Imposter Syndrome. If you are constantly worried that someone will “find you out” you suffer from Imposter Syndrome. But don’t worry too much, Imposter Syndrome is not terminal, and if you follow some simple advice you will be able to overcome it with relative ease!
It is not uncommon- It is important to remember that everyone suffers from imposter syndrome at some point. Feeling underqualified, or incapable is a crucial component to progressing in your field. No one makes it to the top without wondering how they managed to get there.
Deflate the ego- Often we end up feeling like a fraud because we inflate our importance, or judge ourselves against a fictional perfect version of ourselves. Remember that you are merely human and it is okay for you to make mistakes! Errors do not make you a fraud or failure, they just make you a person.
Help others- Helping other people is the fastest way to stop feeling like a fraud. You can only think about yourself as a fraud if you are thinking about yourself. If, instead of thinking about what people think of you, you go out and help others you will stop thinking about yourself very quickly. If you make a point of doing at least one good deed a day you will have a much easier time keeping imposter syndrome at bay.
Own your actions- Maybe you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth and a fortune 500 company at your fingertips, maybe you were born on the wrong side of the tracks with a good pair of bootstraps. Either way you got yourself to where you are today, you managed to use your opportunities and become the person you are now. Many people have squandered away far more than you have been given, and you could have too. Remember this and pat yourself on the back for getting to where you are today, no one but you could have gotten you there.
Fake it until you make it- Maybe you don’t really know what you are doing in your job right now- that’s okay. Keep trying, keep working, and keep yourself open to growing. If you keep going through the motions of a successful person, you will become a legitimately successful person. No one knows what they are doing 100% of the time, so just keep trying and eventually everything will click!
Imposter syndrome is rampant amongst people that have achieved any degree of success, just remember that most of the things your syndrome tells you are false. You do deserve to be where you are, stick it out and keep trying! You deserve all the good things you have!