Now that we know what imposter syndrome is, we want to overcome it.
If you don't already know about this concept, learn more about it in this article:
"You caught me! I was lying, I don't deserve it, and other fears from Imposter Syndrome"
Below are 5 ways I've dealt with imposter syndrome:
1. Recognize the behavior
"The first step of change is to become aware of your own bullshit."
In 2016, I noticed that people would send me job postings and say "You are PERFECT for this position," I would look at it and point out the 2-3 qualifications I didn't have and discard the opportunity. This happened multiple times in different ways: job opportunities, business ventures, creative collaborations, and so much more.
I repeated the same behaviour when I was a virtual assistant. I felt like I didn't deserve working with my bosses - they were doing amazing work and I felt like I couldn't live up to their potential. They invited me on their team as a VA because they saw my skills. Near the end of the contract, I was dealing with mental health stuff, couldn't properly balance my workload, and thus it negatively affected my performance.
Looking back on it now, those mistakes cost me an amazing job and I destroyed a relationship with folks who I saw as mentors in my life. Also looking back, I could've gotten my shit together and just asked for more help. The behaviors listed above are prime examples of the ways people who have imposter syndrome end up psyching themselves out. I've used my failures as excuses to not move forward. I now take time to become aware of my bullshit. Without those hard lessons, I wouldn't have been able to grow and move forward.
2. Mistakes are a learning opportunity
"To take failure and turn it on its head, to make something unexpected out of it is a beautiful thing...Often we're too busy being disappointed or upset to recognize that the tools we need to create a new masterpiece are right in front of us...Don't let disappointment blind you to potential." - Lilly singh, How to be a bawse
In the past, I would inflate mistakes and allow them to eat away at my confidence. Small things such as mispronouncing people's names, forgetting to complete a task that another person was depending on me to complete, being hangry and taking my frustration out on people around me, and so much more. Larger mistakes included not asking for help, mismanaging budgets, subjecting people to work in bad weather conditions, and even misgendering a person. In the past, I would beat myself up for mistakes. I would tell myself I was a "stupid, worthless, and a terrible human being that didn't deserve great things because I'll just fuck it up".
Over the years, my practical side started taking the reigns on mistakes.
My practical side said, "feel your feelings but then it's my turn."
My practical side said, "gurl, you are on this team because they TRUST your abilities because they've SEEN what you can do and you do it well."
My practical side said, "so you are going to see these people again tomorrow, how would you like to apologize and not make the same mistake again."
My practical side said, "dwelling over this is a waste of time, TBH".
I like when my practical side takes over because I'm not drowning in self-pity, I cry a bit, apologize, and then figure my shit out because crying doesn't pay my bills.
“Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.”
― Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes
When I started telling people about my habits, I felt SO FREE!
- I start getting grumpy around 9PM because I'm tired
- My Do Not Disturb is automatically turned on at 10PM, so don't expect a response from me
- Whatsapp messages are better than text messages because the read receipts keep me accountable
- If someone says "let's meet up sometime" and don't follow-up, I might not follow up because honestly I forgot. Put it in my planner before I forget.
- I love seeing strippers get paid
- My Instagram may be poppin but it is probably because I schedule my posts as often as I can
- When I say "I'm starting to get hungry" we should figure out food things because I will get hangry (hungry and angry) in about 30-60 minutes
- I'm also a pretty bad wingwoman
I am unapologetic about my quirks because they are also boundaries that keep me in a good mindset. Sharing these quirks also keeps me from being fake and saying "oh no, I'm not hungry at all" when really my belly is on the verge of yelling at me.
"The day you commit to something or someone. The day you get your heart broken. The day you meet your soul mate. Those are the big days." - Shonda Rhimes
In 2017, I made a commitment to myself. I will no longer be dependent on other people for validation.
This commitment to myself seems selfish but was extremely necessary. I started looking at upward mobility instead of down (in relation to the way I treated myself, what kinds of food I put in my body, etc.).
I strived to be 1% better.
This helped my self-esteem, my self-confidence, and my feelings of self-worth; all factors that contribute to self-love. Self-love seems to be a neverending journey but in the end it is worth it.
Remember your resume
“I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.”
― Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes
Sometimes I forget that I've photographed almost 200 events.
Sometimes I forget that I facilitated over 30 workshops.
Sometimes I forget that I have over 5 years of event management and project management experience.
Sometimes I forget that I am a business owner.
Sometimes I forget that I've worked in 9 different industries.
Sometimes I forget that my work has been published.
Sometimes I forget.
But then I remember my resume.
“It’s not bragging if you can back it up,” I whisper to myself in the shower every morning. That is my favorite Muhammad Ali quote. If you ask me, Ali invented modern-day swagger.”
― Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes