30 Sep Imposter syndrome – how often do you feel out of your depth?
We’ve all learnt a lot this year about how well we deal with change, disruption, confusion and chaos.
Having not been in this position before, we can all be forgiven for being unsure how to process all of this.
While some of us will have adopted a siege mentality and become empowered by the adversity, it’s not like that for everyone.
If all the uncertainty and rapid change has put a rather large dent in your confidence, you’re not alone.
When it feels like every decision we make is more impactful – both on the outcomes we deliver for clients and our own livelihoods – that’s always going to heap more stress on our minds.
Naturally, that means many of us will feel out of our depth. We believe we’re unequipped to do our jobs properly, and that other people would do far better.
Imposter syndrome was already rife in Australian workplaces, but the craziness caused by the pandemic has undoubtedly made it worse.
We all need to trust each other while we’re trying to cope with this, most of all ourselves.
If you do feel like you’re not worthy of your position, you have two options. You can quit, or you can keep going.
This hardly needs to be stated, but quitting is the wrong option. Not just because it’s so hard to find work right now, but also because you’ll know, for the rest of your working life, that you weren’t up to the challenge when your employers believed in you.
That’s a heavy burden to carry for the rest of your career, and it shows quitting isn’t necessarily the easy option after all.
Alternatively, sticking it out may seem less desirable, but it’s the only way to rid yourself of the insecurity about your own confidence.
Set yourself a challenge to become as good as you think you should be. Of course it seems more difficult, but in the long run, the journey to becoming a more complete, rounded employee is what makes us who we are.
One key aspect of imposter syndrome is thinking you’re struggling while everyone else is more competent and more confident.
Naturally, a lack of confidence isn’t something we like to shout from the rooftops. In what is increasingly becoming a competitive daily environment, we’re hardly going to be spilling the beans on our greatest weaknesses.
The reality is that most of us have sustained periods of self-doubt from time to time. That doesn’t mean we’re all weak or incompetent. Rather, it shows we’re simply human.
Questioning whether you’re good enough for the job shows you actually care about how well you do it, which is more than can be said for some.
The best way to alleviate your concerns is to become as competent as you think you should be, and then some. After all, the fruits of your labour will show more about how good you are than your own biased critique.