Lie # 1: I don't have what it takes unless I have everything it takes. This is a recurrent lie I have told myself throughout the years. Many people, more prominently, women, have this same struggle. We're fearful of taking chances, and we are only hurting our ability to be successful.
There is an interesting statistic that says that men are more likely to apply for jobs when they meet 60% of the job requirements. On the other hand, women are more likely to apply, only when they meet 100% of the requirements. How insane is that!
Photography // Gianna Falcon
Imposter syndrome can be defined as feelings of inadequacy and a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud" despite evident success. I've experienced this in the corporate setting, in school, and now in the creative space. Despite consistent growth and a level of quality that we already possess, we innately focus on what we don't have, what we are not doing well, and the mistakes that we've made. This can create anxiety and take a significant toll on your emotional health.
If we're honest, we all go through phases of inadequacy. We get caught up in comparing ourselves to others in our fields, or we begin compiling a list of our perceived deficiencies, then we become experts in negative self-talk. It's time to change that. We miss out on too many opportunities due to the fear of not being good enough. Here are a few tips for overcoming imposter syndrome:
It happens to the best of us. The first step is to acknowledge the feelings and know that they are there. I'll even permit you to wallow in it for a few, but then it will be time to deal with it so you can move on.
Stop Following Your Feelings
Just because you feel like an imposter, it should not stop you from taking action. Your feelings may be valid, but your feelings have no bearing on you physically moving forward to do what you need to do. We have convinced ourselves that unless we feel confident, we can't take action. This is false. Do it scared. Do it unsure. But go do it!
Perfection Doesn't Exist
Being a perfectionist is like a double-edged sword when dealing with imposter syndrome. You want to do everything in the best way, which is excellent, but you are rarely satisfied with your own work. Despite what it may look like from the outside, no one is perfect all of the time. Keep your standards high, but give yourself more grace than you are used to.
When you focus your mind on what is going well for you, it leaves less room for you to focus on what may not be going as well. I do this at the end of each week. While planning my content for the upcoming week, I review the previous week to see what went well and what I accomplished. Documenting your progress and accomplishments becomes a visual reminder and put things into perspective for you during moments of doubt.
You are not alone in experiencing self-doubt. But rather than thinking about the million reasons you might not be qualified, focus on the reasons you are. You deserve to be in the room. You deserve to take those opportunities. You have what it takes!