Do you ever doubt your own abilities to a point where you feel like a fraud? Where you feel like you’re not as competent as other people might think you are?
Imposter syndrome can be a big barrier to putting yourself out there to pursue opportunities–from taking on more responsibility at work, to accepting speaking engagements, to going for a vertical career move in another company.
And even the most senior-level, accomplished professionals experience imposter syndrome.
What Causes Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome can surface in situations including pursuing a promotion at work, being invited into a high-level meeting, or being asked to perform something more advanced or different than you’re used to.
Another situation may be if you’re interviewing for a role outside of your organization that is a vertical career move.
Or maybe you’re asked to speak or present as a subject matter expert.
How Job Status Compounds Imposter Syndrome
For people who have been unemployed for a while, imposter syndrome can creep in more often, especially if they’ve been actively interviewing and passed over for positions.
Always remember that you did not check your skills, knowledge, and experience at the door when that company decided to make the business decision to eliminate your position.
You are just as qualified, knowledgeable, and skilled as you were when you were fully employed. Your job status changes none of that.
Even still, this can really rattle a person’s confidence the longer time passes.
Why Not You?
Have you ever hesitated or passed over an opportunity a speaking engagement?
Maybe this was because you felt someone else was more qualified or skilled than you.
But why not you? When you start to feel the self doubt, remember:
- If you’re willing to face the challenge and participate, you’re already ahead of the person who isn’t!
- Your perspective and insights are valuable.
- Even if you’re talking about something your audience knows something about, even if you share one or two new pieces of information–there’s value in that.
If you’re putting yourself out there and taking advantage of these opportunities, you’re positioning yourself to serve and gain (even if you’re perceiving yourself as less competent than the person who’s decided not to participate).
Talk Yourself Out of Imposter Syndrome
To curb imposter syndrome, create a mantra for yourself.
For example, “I am well-qualified. I’m good at what I do. I have a solid set of experiences. I have a lot to contribute to this audience / this potential employer / this company project.”
And when you convince yourself you deserve to be there, others will be convinced and gain value from all you have to offer.