This is my second most embarrassing college story.
In college, I was part of the entrepreneurship club. The whole group was meeting.
Our sponsor started talking about imposter syndrome. He asked, “does anyone know what this is?”
My hand shot up and I started spouting off a completely wrong definition that I made up in my head. I figured imposter syndrome meant exactly what it sounded like.
Halfway through my wrong speech, I realized I actually didn’t know what I was talking about (see: imposter).
To this day I can’t remember what my made up definition was. Failure is a great teacher. I made sure I got this definition down pat.
Imposter Syndrome Definition
Imposture syndrome is when a professional doesn’t feel qualified to do their job. It’s when you feel like you’re faking.
Recently, I’ve been feeling imposter syndrome. I feel like I’m faking something that I wasn’t born to do.
But of course I wasn’t born to do digital marketing. I was born to sleep and eat, and eventually die.
Nobody was born a professional. We are all extending ourselves in order to try and create something beyond ourselves.
The scale of that can get scary. It might cause us to deface ourselves. Makes us feel like an imposter.
These feelings need to encourage us to get better, learn more, and perform at a higher level.
But more often they demotivated and push you to quit because you aren’t really the person you’re trying to be. And maybe you never will be.
Why I Think We Feel Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome comes from trying to do something you can’t fully control or understand. You feel imposter syndrome because you are pushing your boundaries. You’re stretching and it hurts.
For example, large, functioning companies are scary. Amazon scares the s*** out of me. (How can they do so much?)
New roles in businesses are scary. Responsibility is scary.
Technology is scary. We scarcely understand how computers work. How websites work. How to secure websites so that your company doesn’t become a news headline “data breach from negligent company.”
It’s a big scary world. And it’s not easy to be a bread winner.
Pat yourself on the back if you feel imposter syndrome because it means you are struggling against the beast.
How Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Dr. Valerie Young, the expert on imposter syndrome, gives 10 steps to overcome imposter syndrome.
I think that imposter syndrome is good as long as you can keep it from paralyzing you.
Why I think imposter syndrome is good.
- Imposter syndrome means you are challenging yourself.
- It means you care about your work.
- Failure is welcome. So many of the greats, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Winston Churchill, and on and on, preach the gospel of failure. Failing makes us better. Being afraid of failing also makes us better.
Bad Feelings Come for a Reason
I think that bad feelings are given to us for a reason. They come to us for our own good.
Everyone heard not to touch the stove as a kid. But really, we don’t even need to tell kids, do we?
The stove will speak good enough for itself, won’t it? Touch it once and you never will again. For good reason. It burns!
When you worry about finances, that should move you to action. It’s good to have some worry. It lights a fire underneath your belly.
Health, relationships, money, work, all these things can scare the s*** out of you! For good reason. You can only drop so many balls before they start breaking. Drop some things and sometimes they’ll shatter on the first drop.
I think we should accept worries and stresses as guides for our own good. Same with imposter syndrome.
Let it Motivate You to Action
Allow imposter syndrome to activate your ambition.
I think that the truth is that you should be scared! It’s a scary world!
You are an imposter. Unless you prove otherwise! It’s in your power to prove otherwise.
All you have to do is do it! When you are actively working, you don’t have time to worry. Bury your negative emotions with hard work.
If you’re scared of failure, good! You should be. Because you will fail. Unless you push yourself to succeed.
We are all on a short journey through life. We get multiple days and retries and anything is possible.
But this is it. This life you’re living is your one shot. It’s my one shot.
Bad feelings will come. So we should accept them. And use them. They light a fire under our belly.
I think we have a choice. Imposter syndrome can demotivate us, stop us, and slow us down.
Or we can fight it. Through effort, we can override our imposter syndrome.
Thank you sincerely for reading! My name is Evan River Welch. I’m a digital marketing learner with Simplilearn, a professional skills bootcamp provider. Feel welcome to write any comments that popped up for you. And do not hesitate to contact me!