Imposter syndrome is when we feel unworthy, over-promoted perhaps, or simply unqualified to do something. The truth is that everyone occasionally suffers from imposter syndrome, even the most senior executives.
Next time you feel like you’re in over your head, try these three things:
Recognise the advantages. There are positives to being new in your field. When you’re not an expert steeped in the issue, situation or conventional wisdom, you can ask questions that haven’t been asked before and approach issues in new an inventive ways.
Adopt a learning mindset: be curious, question and learn. Focus more on what you’re learning than on how you’re performing. Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes. Appreciate that your limitations and missteps are helping you develop.
Understand that it’s the new normal now: you’re not alone. In a time of complexity, challenge and change it is inevitable that you will encounter the unfamiliar, or people that are much more expert than you, and if you have any emotional intelligence and empathy at all you will inevitably feel like an imposter – at least occasionally. Remember, the chances are that others in your situation feel the exact same way.