Imposter Syndrome – Stop Undermining Yourself!
When my husband and I get home from work at the end of each day, we usually talk about work and do a “daily download”.
While I don’t necessarily understand the ins-and-outs of his job in particular, he doesn’t really understand the ins-and-outs of mine, either which makes the conversations something we both have to listen to particularly well. If I’m not following along, giving him my full, present attention, I miss details that help me understand what he does better – same goes for him. We generally discuss things at a high level like the projects we’re working on and why they’re not going well, the things we worry about, and the things we wonder about.
And one of those things we wonder about, often, is the concept of fake it till you make it. See, he’s a youth sport coach who oozes confidence and self-assurance. Perhaps it’s in his years of athletic coaching where he’s learned how to lead with confidence and develop strong relationships with his players due to his self-assured nature. This transcends his coaching through to his day job, though, which leaves me wondering about whether this is something men and women experience in the same way or not.
Because me? On the other hand…
Wake Up and Make Up
Part of my daily routine is to build a “mask” I can wear out to work to help me feel confident throughout the day. The routine is one part makeup, one part self-talk, and a mix-and-match handful of other ingredients like consuming only positive social media content and being very mindful as well as intentional with my time. My self talk is different from the voice I use to express myself outwardly.
In my experience, almost every woman has felt insecure or underconfident at one point or another in their life. Maybe it’s not even fair to say every woman – but almost every person has experienced this feeling before, regardless of their gender or role. Whether it’s at work or at home, within their relationships or within the context of making new relationships, it’s a feeling most people know well.
That feeling is Imposter Syndrome.
Fake it till you make it? Or just fake it?
While I think it’s important to radiate confidence because people do have the ability to pick up on someone’s energy, I also think it’s important to talk about the difference between faking confidence and imposter syndrome versus faking confidence until you feel competent and capable.
Most people won’t admit to experiencing imposter syndrome. That’s like wearing a name tag that says, “I’m a fraud”, and it’s really not something most people want to advertise, even if the feeling is far more normal than people realize. At least one in five people report feeling like an imposter in the workplace.
Apparently, imposter syndrome comes into existence as a reaction due to certain circumstances, and it might not be present in every situation. However, psychologists say that people who undermine their own achievements are particularly at risk, which is one of the points my husband and I talked about. He celebrates achievements, no matter how big or little with his team.
Which brings me back to women, and the struggles we share in the workplace. I want us to do a better job of owning up to our success. Hear this, ladies.
Your success isn’t luck. It isn’t good timing. Your success is yours because you worked for it.