Impostor Syndrome is a Real Thing
Here’s How to Overcome It
By Chardia Christophe – Garcia
Marketing & Events Professional
So, we’ve all been there. You work hard. You take on more than you probably should. You’re killing it in your role and then bam — a big opportunity falls into your lap. Your initial reaction is excitement. All your hard work is finally paying off and people are noticing. Your mind races from 0 to 100, and then it happens: doubt, nervousness, fear and uncertainty. Suddenly, everything you did to deserve this win seems to fade and you’re surrounded by thoughts of “I’m not good enough.” I’d like to introduce you to the enemy, currently known as Impostor Syndrome.
According to an article in Psychology Today, the term Impostor Syndrome “was coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, when they found that despite having adequate external evidence of accomplishments, people with impostor syndrome remained convinced that they don’t deserve the success they have.” So many women struggle with this, and it’s time we reclaim the power. Here are a few of my go-to tips that help me during these moments of uncertainty.
Tip 1: Make a List of All Your Accomplishments
There is something about putting words to paper that offers a sense of clarity. Once you start listing out what you’ve managed to accomplish so far, it will remind you that this opportunity wasn’t just handed to you. You earned it.
Tip 2: Create an “I’m a Boss” Spotify Playlist
There are certain songs that really make you feel invincible. My personal favorite is Beyonce’s song, Flawless (it gets me every time). Music has a way of getting inside your soul. Sometimes you just need to hear a few great songs to get outside of your own head and into the spirit. If that doesn’t do the trick, marry it with a dance move. I’m not sure if you watch Grey’s Anatomy, but there’s something about having a dance party with yourself (or a friend) that really lets you release all that negative energy. Channel your inner Christina Yang and Meredith Grey and dance it out.
Tip 3: Celebrate Your Win with People who Support You
More times than not, my friends and family will see something in me that I don’t always see in myself. I’ll listen to my sister talk about what I do at work, and she’d have you believe I run the whole company. You need friends and family like that in your corner. When you get your big break, it helps to have those closest to you celebrate the win. Not only is it a great moment, but they will remind you of the journey it took to get there and why you’re most deserving.
Tip 4: Prepare for This New Opportunity
There is nothing more helpful than preparation. Do your homework. Study the best practices of people who’ve been in this role before you. Research online for any tips they may have for success. If it’s a speaking engagement—practice a few times with others. Knowledge and preparation is power. The more equipped you feel walking into a new role, the better your chances are for success.
At the end of the day, remember to be kind to yourself. There are many people out there taking on roles with little to no experience. Don’t count yourself out of the race because you don’t check every box. Remember who you are and don’t let anything stop you from taking that leap. Even in fear, I have never regretted the moments I stepped outside my comfort zone and did something that challenged me. Use the tips above, and I’m sure it will help you as you step into that new opportunity. Good Luck.