Imposter Syndrome, what is it? I had just heard about this when my good friend Jonathan Frappier tweeted about it.
There is that imposter syndrome creeping up again
— Jonathan Frappier (@jfrappier) April 27, 2017
Frapp (as I call him) is one of the smartest guys I know. So what exactly is this thing that he was feeling?
Wikipedia defines it as – Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome or the imposter experience) is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”
In short it means a person feels as if they are not worthy, or doubting their abilities. Also you feel as an outsider at times.
After that tweet I started to think about this topic more and more, it came up multiple times in my twitter feed from different people that I follow. But for me I found that I’ve have Imposter syndrome. I said it, while I am confident in my abilities, I doubt myself.
I spoke a little about Self-Awareness in a recent post and how you need to understand your weaknesses. The same goes for overcoming that feeling you get from Imposter Syndrome. There is another caveat to it though, you must know and own your strengths.
Be Positive – This is tough for many, especially when you have a sense of doubt or as if you do not belong. I call positive energy #NerdBlurtMojo. While I am not a huge religion fan I am a believer in energy. Staying positive keeps positive energy around you, this will help with that feeling of you do not belong.
You know what you know – One thing I have learned is I know a lot of stuff, I also know a lot of people. I do not need to know everything, I just need the ability to know when to ask for help. By owning what you know the sense of not belonging to a certain group is eased and you feel comfortable.
Tell yourself – Everyday speak to yourself and say it’s ok, I got this today.
Know your worth – Understand the value you bring, then demonstrate that value. If your current situation isn’t feeling right or you are not being valued then look for a different one.
Surround yourself with variety of people – To me this is important, you have to be able to accept all kinds of people. I love the fact that I do not agree with my peers on everything, I also enjoy the many conversations and deep discussions I have with those of opposing views than mine. End of the day we all have beliefs and values, being open and surrounding yourself with a diverse group of peers will help you feel that you are important and belong in a group.
I love TED talks and came across this nice playlist of talks. Head over there and give them a listen, as they cover a few areas that trigger Imposter Syndrome.
Understand that I struggle with this on a daily basis and know that you are not alone. I have to thank my friend Frapp for being brave and coming forward, had he not I may not have known what I suffer from daily.
Have you ever felt like you were experiencing Imposter Syndrome?