Did you know that 70% of Millennials experience imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome affects high-achieving individuals who fear they aren't as intelligent as others perceive them to be.
Do you worry that you'll be "exposed" in your workplace? That you don't belong?
Successful professionals are most likely to struggle with imposter syndrome, particularly if they have trouble internalizing success. Do colleague's compliments roll off your shoulders, but criticism reverberates for weeks? Being modest about your success is healthy as long as you own your accomplishments - don't poke holes in your success! You deserve the recognition that you crave.
For an academic spin on imposter syndrome, check out my post from when I went to my PhD admitted students day (PS I'm 4 years in and doing great!)
"i'm not an expert"
No one knows everything! But don't think that just because you haven't been in your field for decades that you're not an expert. Everyone has something they are particularly passionate about, and many of us are quintessential niche experts. Remember that experience comes in all shapes and sizes. Not sure your team values your experience? Double check that you're approaching them positively and not acting defensively due to your inner worries.
If you identify an area that you want to learn more about - where you are objectively lacking knowledge - you can expand your intellectual real estate by furthering your education. Employers often hire based on transferable skills including interpersonal skills and work ethic - they're happy to help you catch up on the knowledge part.
"you're not good enough"
You've got the education, the experience, and hey, the job! Remember - you interviewed, and they chose you! But if you still hear a little voice in your head that says you're not good enough it's time to call that quits. While ignoring your inner critic is never easy, and there's a line between arrogance and confidence, you can learn to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and improve your overall emotional health and wellness through meditation and a healthy lifestyle. Negative thoughts are harder to ignore when we are stressed and short on sleep, so make an effort in your personal life to take care of yourself.
"nobody likes me"
It's true - not everyone on your team is looking out for your interests. Many of us put ourselves first in the work world, though hopefully not to the detriment of others. Toxic co-workers, however, are a different beast. They can damage your self-confidence and create a negative working environment that undoes any progress you've made. It's important to establish healthy boundaries to keep unhelpful team members at bay - and I highly encourage practicing what you'll say the next time you encounter them.
If a co-worker frequently interrupts you in a meeting, don't assume nobody wants to hear what you have to say. They may think what they have to say is more important, or perhaps they are excited to share their idea that yours sparked. Either way, take a breath and pleasantly smile, ask if you can finish, say thank you, and continue speaking. Bring it back to them and encourage them to share their idea. You'll avoid an escalating scene and introduce a better group environment where members respect one another.
To address your own imposter syndrome, think about what you feel insecure about, and keep whittling down to the root cause. Then think about steps you can take to address those causes.
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