Imposter syndrome is a real thing, but isn’t a real thing at the same time. The only reason why we have imposter syndrome is our perceived knowledge and abilities compared to someone else. It’s kind of scary to talk in a meeting because you don’t want to say anything stupid. You don’t want to raise your hand in class because you believe if no one else is asking questions, they must get it. Truth is, none of us really know what we’re doing. Things get easier once realize this.
The idea of imposter syndrome comes from comparison, which is probably not the best means to analyze yourself. However, a great way to alleviate the pressure that is imposter syndrome is to notice how common the feeling is between just about everyone. A lot of people are good at looking the part and talking a big game. The truth is, they probably don’t know what they are doing. It’s the confidence that gives them the perception that they have everything under control. The problem with that deception is that it leaves you feeling inadequate. It may even have you feel like you’re not allowed to be vulnerable with what you don’t know causing you to hide your deficiencies as well.
I see it so many times in my career experience. It’s probably highlighted here the most because we typically work in a group setting that brings together different personalities and cultures. It would be so much better for everyone if the culture of the company was that of being okay with not knowing. That already sounds scary. No one likes being uncertain, but uncertainty is where we grow.
Same thing applies to life. No one has everything figured out. We all have our faults and we all have what makes us great. We put ourselves in team situations because not one person is perfect. The synergy between the skills of multiple people makes for greater success, yet some of us believe we can outshine the team and do everything without help. We all have our successes and we all have our failures.
There will come a time where we lose something, or something falls out a place that allows us to question everything about our life. Some people make it known that they are having a hard time. Others hide it under a hard exterior. Never be judgmental of someone who seemingly doesn’t have their life in order. The worst thing a person can do is make a person feel inadequate because they don’t feel or act “normal.” I hope we get to a point where it’s acceptable to say that we’re not okay. At the same time, never assume that people are doing well because they smile in your face. We are all going on our own very, unique journeys. Sometimes an ear to hear is all that’s needed. Kindness and compassion is essential.
If you do feel stuck, either in life or at work, make sure you relax. Life is not a linear progression. It’s going to have ups and downs. If you feel like you’re in the downward part of your life, relax in your valley. Know that you aren’t the only one feeling exactly as you feel. Know that as you commit yourself to life and all the love that it brings, eventually you come out. You don’t need the help of an influencer or expert. If there is help you can get from therapy or any other means, take it, but also make sure that you connect with the information. Even a person who’s gone to school for 8 years to receive a doctorate may not know what they are doing.