In a world full of mediocre people pretending to be the smartest and best at what they do, we still must deal with imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. Or in simpler terms, you think that you don’t deserve to be where you are or have what you have. No matter how successful you are, you attribute it to things like “luck.” Let me tell you why that’s a load of barnacles.
I don’t believe in luck.
I have never been one to gamble. I mean, of course, in Las Vegas you have to. And I mean of course, when the mega, power, supernova, ultra, really super stupendous lottery drawings get up to half a billion dollars. But other than that, I don’t like to place bets. What do I like to do, you may ask? I like to believe that if I can make something happen, why not? If something has happened, it was meant to. Even if it seems to have fallen out of the sky and into your lap, I firmly believe it’s because it was headed toward you.
Also, how lucky have you really been before? I have tried my “luck” in the cigarette-filled rooms of Vegas casinos. I have skipped to the gas station during rush hour trying to understand how to fill out the Dragonball super lottery slips. And I can firmly tell you that it all resulted in a loss of money. So why is it that when you finally get that promotion that you have been working for, you finally get the job in your dream industry, or when you finally get a seat at a table that wasn’t for you – you think it all has to do with luck?
You are not alone.
What is most sinister about imposter syndrome is that it mostly happens to qualified people. The people who have worked hard and have shed blood, sweat, and/or tears. It relies on you undermining yourself, no matter what receipts you have to the contrary. Seventy-five percent of women executives in the United States have felt imposter syndrome at least once in their career. Women who reached the HIGHEST levels of success in their careers. If they aren’t qualified, just who at their company is?! This also speaks to the fact that experiencing imposter syndrome isn’t an isolated thing. No matter how isolated you may feel, again, you are not alone.
How do I beat this?
With a bat, if you must.
It is easy for me to tell someone to “just believe in themselves.” That does as much as “thoughts and prayers,” in my opinion. It is also easy for me to say, “Don’t worry about it.” As I watch ASMR videos on breaks to calm my anxiety. My advice comes down to a few things:
Try to find the root cause of why you feel like an imposter.
In the tech industry, women make up just 28% of senior leadership, despite being almost half of the workforce. We have written time and time again about how workplace diversity is not only good for the company, but for the workers as well. Not seeing yourself at the top can trigger feelings of doubt and make you question if you are even supposed to be there. Despite the barriers you crossed.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparison is the thief of joy. In American culture, keeping up with the Joneses has been a thing for decades. If your neighbor has a shiny new car, you want one too. The race for material things and looks has never been fiercer. The tech industry is no different. When I was learning, it used to crush me to see others building at a higher level or faster rate than I did. Despite the fact that I. Was. Still. Building.
I used to wonder what it was that made me so much slower than others. When I should’ve been congratulating myself for learning and completing my work. I am in the same tech industry as they are and sometimes, they even ask me for help.
Think about all you have done.
Even if you still feel like an imposter, you are in good company.
There are so many imposters in power right now. People who are where they are because of money, family, illegal deeds, or all the above. But it is not them who have trouble sleeping at night. It’s the doers. It is the person that coded 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week for years to get into tech. It is the minority who is told they are “lucky” because they jumped the hurdles that kept a lot of others back. Well, let me be your Ambien. My challenge for everyone reading this is to use those wonderful typing skills and hit up your favorite search engine. Look at the top people in your field. Look at successful people in power in general. Look at how much ridiculousness went into them gaining power. Now, look at yourself. If not you, then who?