Imposter Syndrome Is Real: Here’s How I’m Dealing With It…
5 February 2020
"The best way to realize your own potential is to do the things that scare you the most" - Amy Park, Talent Partner, Talentful, London.
I’m here to tell you. Imposter Syndrome is a real thing.
Imposter Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Although it’s not a clinical disorder, the term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes who found that people with imposter syndrome remained convinced they don’t deserve the success they have, despite having adequate external evidence of accomplishments.
This is me to a tee.
The thing is, I hadn’t given it much thought until I was in a meeting recently, and we were talking about personal branding. Part of that discussion was about how you create your own digital reputation on social media.
I have always wanted to create a personal brand. I saw so many people posting insightful comments on articles or sharing the successes of their careers on LinkedIn that I wanted to start doing it for myself. But, as soon as I started thinking about what to write, I froze and started to worry. I thought to myself – ‘what if people think it’s silly or not good enough?’
I don’t know where this thinking came from. I was always supported by the people around me. No matter how many times my parents would say how pleased they were with my achievements, I would still dismiss it because they’re my parents, they have to be proud, right?
It was an unsettling feeling because I love my work and find a lot of satisfaction with pushing myself to the limit and reaching my goals. I eagerly take on challenges and enjoy finding ways to resolve them. But, the second I hit the limit, even though I get rewarded with praise for reaching the goal, I start to feel that I’m not worthy of the recognition.
It’s almost a dislike of achievement, which is bizarre because what I have just accomplished is something I have probably been working towards for a long time. It’s as if I am never satisfied with my accomplishments because I don’t think I deserve them.
So what have I learned? The best way to realize your own potential is to do the things that scare you the most. Always be your authentic self, but take a trip outside of your comfort zone every now and then. It lets you broaden your perspective, and your authentic self can see that you already had a seat at the table.
Ironically having this conversation with myself made me write this blog, which is entirely out of my comfort zone. And I feel great about it.