What only comes when you want it least yet, invite it in? 

Imposter Syndrome. 

You see, as you begin to level up. Whether that be for your personal or professional life it is natural for imposter syndrome to begin to creep in. When new and exciting challenges are coming your way it makes sense that fear or anxiety begin to show more face. The new, the exciting, the unknown, the terrifying. Have you ever experienced this? 

According to a recent survey by Innovative MR, about 65% of professionals experience imposter syndrome. But what is it really? Imposter syndrome is the fear and anxiety built around the looming expectation that others will learn or come to understand that you are under qualified or unable to do what is being asked of you. 

Sound familiar? Perhaps you have started a new job and felt under qualified to be in the role. Maybe you are graduating from school and nervous about your first “big person job.” You could be taking on new responsibilities and tasks. Reaching for new goals or … pushing yourself in some other capacity. 

People all around the world deal with this every single day. You are not alone, and it will be ok. 

Here are some suggestions on how to deal with this frustrating guest. 

  1. You are not alone in this feeling, lots of people experience it. There are so many resources that you can reach out to for support. From support groups to Linkedin pages, self help books and more. 
  2. Collect the facts. With so many fears floating through your head it can be challenging to navigate between reality and fear. Stop yourself and write out a list of FACTS that you need to move forward. For example you can say this to yourself. “The fact is that I did XYZ which got me to XYZ and I am here because I proved that XYX time and time again.”
  3. Loop them in. STOP keeping imposter syndrome on your own shoulders alone. Your management, your team members, your peers. It is not wrong to show vulnerability towards your trepidation but optimism over something. It is not wrong to be scared but, it is wrong for your fear to keep you from moving forward.
  4. Expect Growing Pain. When we were little and we grew, our legs and arms would occasionally hurt and our parents would say to us, 

                “It’s a growing pain, it will stop.” But when we are growing professionally we do not offer ourselves the same grace? Everyone learns, everyone grows. Do not expect perfection because there will be growing pains.

 5. Track Your Wins. There are lots of things that we track. KPI’s. Emails in, shipments out. Talk time on the phone, closed contracts… We track everything! Yet, our own internal attitude towards itself which is some of the most important information and authority power over our brains – but we do not track that? That ends today. Start tracking your imposter syndrome! Take charge over understanding your triggers towards the feeling or your wins, your losses. Talk about everything and track it all so you have understanding on how to move forward based on facts rather than emotion.

6. Keep a mentor. Not only are you not alone, I suggest that you seek out the specific support of a regular mentor. Mentors have so much value to add. From industry information to contacts you want to meet, they offer so much value and guidance through moments like these.

You have the power to move in and through your imposter syndrome. Really, the question is whether you are going to take charge of the situation or if you will let the situation take charge of you.