Picture the scene.
You’re sitting on a Zoom call, waiting for your client to join the waiting room. You’re nervous about the meeting (cos lets be fair, we all get the pre-meeting jitters), despite being armed with all your info, facts and figures, which are laid out before you.
They enter the meeting. You say your hellos, ask how they’re doing, and mention the weather (because we all like to comment on how hot/cold/wet/dry it is).
Pleasantries out the way – you start your meeting, working through the information and feeling quite proud of yourself.
And then it happens.
“[insert seemingly innocent question you were totally unprepared for here]?”
And, honestly, it’s a question you were absolutely not expecting. It throws you off balance, and you begin to forget your own name, never mind working out the answer to whatever you were just asked.
At that moment, you begin to question everything. Are you in the right job? Do you know what you’re talking about? Can they tell you don’t know what you’re doing?!
Whether you’re stuck in a meeting, writing a document, or sending important emails to important people, it hits us all.
If you find yourself staring blankly, like a deer in headlights, trying to figure out why you were hired for your job in the first place, please… don’t worry – you’re not going crazy, you’re more than likely suffering a bout of imposter syndrome.
So how do you get around it? Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Imposter syndrome will suck your soul out if you let it. It’s that nasty little voice inside your head, screaming at you that you’re “just not good enough”.
But actually, if you can look past the screaming and abuse you give yourself, you might find that actually, it’s a good thing.
1. It keeps your ego in check
If you’re suffering from a lack of confidence, you’re as far from cocky as you can get. Although constantly doubting yourself is never a good thing, getting into the habit of double checking your work, facts and figures is always a good habit.
Imposter syndrome is guaranteed to stop you getting cocky.
2. It can motivate you to learn more
Nothing is a bigger motivator to learn, than being uncomfortable with your own lack of knowledge.
If you want to be great at something, you need to know as much as you can about it. By learning as much as you can on your chosen subject, you’ll be confident you’re bringing your A-game every time. Imposter syndrome challenges you to be at your best, and most importantly, it shows that you take pride in what you do.
This also says more about you as a person than anything else.
3. It shows you’re improving
Similarly, realising how much you don’t know, can also show you how much you do know.
Think back to when you first started. The chances are you hadn’t even heard of half the terminology you now use on a daily basis.
Yes, you might need to do more research, and yes, you might not be where you want to be just yet. But one day, you will be.
Keep looking back to see how far you’ve come, but don’t let it hold you back. Remember, it unfairly warps your perception of yourself, and actually…
4. It shows that you’re probably better than you think
Behind most people with imposter syndrome is often someone who is a self-confessed perfectionist, workaholic, or someone who doesn’t like asking for help, but fears the need not to know everything.
You could let it destroy your confidence, your self-worth, and wear you out. Sounds exhausting, if you ask me!
Instead, try picturing yourself from someone else’s perspective. You may not know everything there is to know (yet), but you clearly know enough, otherwise you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing!
The fact that you want to deliver the best you can, whatever category that falls under, shows that already, you’re better than most of those around you.
Having passion in what you do shines out for everyone to see, and is more than likely why people are drawn to you in the first place.
How can you beat imposter syndrome?
While there is (unfortunately) no magic wand to take your angry little creature away, believing in yourself is the biggest step you can take.
Be kind to yourself, celebrate your wins, no matter how big or small, and above all, trust yourself.
If you’ve ever felt like a fraud at work, it’s OK not to know everything. The people who pretend they do are just winging it. And remember, there is no shame at all in reaching out for help.
If you’d like help with your marketing needs and don’t know where to turn, we can guide you through it. Email email@example.com or call 0115 8965 300.