Oh, girl. Honeybee, sweetheart. I hear you. Despite having a blog read by thousands of people, I frequently feel weird charging people to design social media or internet domination plans. Why? BECA– USE I DO NOT HAVE A MASTERS DEGREE IN THE INTERNET. Such a thing does not exist, but that does not stop me from wanting one because then I’d feel like a real expert.
Though it probably won’t make you feel better, millions of people (incredibly accomplished, clever people) feel the same way. Look! It’s even got a fancy name (impostor syndrome) and a wikipedia page!
How to get over impostor syndrome
Know that feeling this way doesn’t make you silly/weak/a useless pile of wet socks
It shows you’re considerate/conscientious/take your responsibilities seriously. We all know plenty of a-holes that are over confident. You are officially not one of those a-holes.
Take heart that most things worth doing have a high learning curve
We all mess up from time to time and just about everyone you know feels the same way when they’re starting something new.
Try to take note of when you’re feeling particularly fraudulent
and realize that it could just be impostor syndrome rearing its ugly head. FEELING incompetent is not the same as ACTUALLY BEING incompetent. Click To Tweet Repeat after me: “I’m good at this. I’m good at this. I’m good at this.”
Talk it out with (trusted!) friends and co-workers
There’s a good chance your co-workers will be able to put your fears in perspective. (“Dude! You’re doing fine! It took me 6 months to learn that software and you’ve only been at it for three weeks!”)
None of this “I was in the right place at the right time” or “I knew somebody inside the company.” That serves no one and you’re discounting all your hard work. How about “Thanks!” or “That’s so kind of you to say – I’ve been working really hard on it.”
When you’re feeling particularly self-doubt-y, remember all those accomplishments
What’s one missed deadline in the face of landing a $250,000 client or being valedictorian?
Know your limits
You’re probably not awesome at everything (I’m not!) And that’s okay! Be honest with yourself (and others) about those limits. It’s an opportunity to openly learn from the masters.
Also: people love it when you ask them for help and advice! There are probably people in your company who will fall all over themselves telling you how to format that website.
Attempt to get over your perfectionism
Anytime we learn new things, we’re going to make mistakes, yes? I believe this is what they call “growth.”
Trust the people that hired you
If someone has been working in the industry for 15 years and thought you were the right candidate for the job? They were probably right. Trust that they knew what they were doing.
Have you ever felt like a fraud? How did you get over it?