Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome? If you’re not sure, go through this quick list and if you find yourself, sipping your coffee softly saying “Girlll” then this is for you.
1. Do you constantly downplay your accomplishments? Example, you’ve been applying and applying to your dream job, you get it and when people congratulate you, you say things like, “I got lucky” or “I had help.”
2. You don’t know how special you are. People with imposter syndrome don’t think they stand out from everyone else around them. Even though their resume, their accomplishments and track records say differently.
3. You are super uncomfortable with praise. Some people are modest and don’t know how to accept praise. But someone suffering from Imposter Syndrome constantly credits others because they think they’re unworthy.
4. Failure is the end-all. If imposters fail, they think people will see them as the fraud they imagine themselves to be. On the other side, failure is a part of success, you can’t succeed without failing constantly. To imposters, they can’t fail because they have so much to prove to the world.
If you made it through that list and don’t feel attacked, then you’re fine. But if you found yourself, questioning yourself from point to point, then this is you and you need to give yourself about five minutes to get through this article.
I, Dawn Demeritte have imposter syndrome. You read that correctly, I have imposter syndrome. Most people that know me would question if I’m sane but it is real.
I was in the dark for a long time about what it was until I interviewed with a company in Bali. The interviewer told me I was amazing and then she said something along the lines of, “Are you sure you don’t suffer from Imposter Syndrome? I sometimes do but you are a badass bitch.”
It got me thinking and when I was done with the call I spoke to a friend and asked her if she thought I had it and her response was, “If you do it’s only because of this country, you’re too good for it.” My friends constantly pour the sauce on me, I love it but it does nothing for me because I suffer from imposter syndrome. I don’t see what they see and I sometimes feel very inadequate.
Knowing what it is was the first step, I took quizzes, read several checklists and then I realized what it was. I’m a perfectionist, I talk myself out of many opportunities, applying for many jobs, doing many things because I need it to be perfect. This also enables my procrastination because I put it off for things that I know I can do with ease, like tweet. And no matter how much time away I take, I never go back because unless I have a rush of adrenaline, I feel like I can’t do it. I avoid things that I am amazing at because I fear not being perfect at it.
I decided I no longer wanted to feel this way and I took five important steps to fix it.
1. Understand you’re just afraid – Imposter syndrome is really about fear. The fear of the next step. When preparing for a new opportunity, the first thing that hits us is fear. Are we good enough? Can we add up? All sorts of questions that instils doubts and it’s easy to get lost in all them and believe you aren’t ready. And as easy as it is to think of your failures, what if you soar?
2. Step into your power: Admittedly, I struggle with this daily, but it takes practice. Just because you’re unable to see your greatness, doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t see it. Imposter syndrome is ironic because to us, we don’t add up but the people around us, see us, they see our greatness and they stan. Take a moment, realize that you are special, and you have so much to offer to the world and see yourself how someone sees you – and it makes all the difference.
3. Journal – Write a letter to yourself. In this letter write the things about you that are amazing, this could be things you’ve been told, things that you know, anything. What I tend to do, is ask the people closest to me how they view me. Use their answers and keep building on it. You need to realize the amazing, divine person you are, daily. That’s the only way to win this battle. In this letter, be sure to include the obstacles you’ve overcome and the times you killed self-doubt.
4. Set and Smash Goals: If you’ve written the love letter to yourself, on the next page, write a list of things that you want to improve on and how you plan to improve on it. Give yourself a realistic timeline, in it include small wins and how you plan to celebrate them. Also, because I’m a little over-achiever, next to the things I want to improve on I also list three ways I’m going to tackle it every day. And I commit to it, you are only as good as your word. If there are more things you’d like to work on, write it down, give yourself a realistic timeline and work on it. End it with a love note to yourself. You can use mine, which is, “I love you; you may not be where you want to be, but we will get there.”
5. Own Your Success: I know this is difficult because we’re suffering from imposter syndrome. But guess what, there’s a reason we are – we’re talented and we’re human. We need to find the strength in us to break free of believing someone else is responsible for our success. All the long nights, all the rejections, all the pressing reset molded us. Everything we have, it’s because we put in the work and we deserve it. We deserve a raise, a promotion or anything else we want, for that matter. But first, we must own our success. For me, this was writing words of affirmation and sticking them on my mirror. Every morning I wake up and say, “I love, accept and forgive myself,” along with my other affirmations. It’s challenging work, but only I can save myself and you can save yourself, as well.
If you follow my steps and these don’t work, try snapping back at yourself. When you hear yourself downplaying your achievements or saying you can’t do something, clap back at yourself. Don’t let the self-doubt win. You got this.