This article was originally published on Notes from Joana.
The mean girl inside of me is constantly trying to sabotage my life with thoughts like: “Not sure if you’re good enough. You’re going to fail so why even try? Who do you think you are? There are so many people better than you. You did it this time but people will soon realize you were just lucky.”
It is called the impostor syndrome and is caused by a sensation of unworthiness, referring to the high-achievers who fear being exposed as frauds. It happens whether you want to try a new thing and fear not being enough or already accomplished something but feel like you just got lucky and don’t deserve any praise.
It can occur in your personal life, workplace or even with your blog. You feel like you’re not good enough to be blogging about a certain topic, qualified to apply for that job or worthy of that compliment at work. It was all luck or timing and soon people will find out.
I was recently listening to Jess Lively’s podcast with Jasmine Star and she mentioned her struggle with the impostor syndrome, describing it as a “voice in your mind that asks you again and again: Who are you to do this? Is there not other people who have gone before you and done it? Or are not other people that are doing it better?”
Since it is something I’ve been struggling with recently, I’m sharing 4 ways that help me deal with the impostor syndrome.
How To Deal With The Impostor Syndrome
The first step to overcome the impostor syndrome is to acknowledge it and repeat to yourself that you are not a fraud. You are here because you have worked for it. There are probably people doing it better that you but there’s only one you. You have a voice that is entirely your own and you need to share it with the world.
Another thing you can do is to keep a record of every nice thing people say about you, whether it is your mom, friend or boss. It might look a bit egocentric but it will help you in those times you are doubting your worth.
It doesn’t need to be perfect
The impostor syndrome creeps up on us because we set high standards for ourselves. We want to be perfect or do something perfectly and tend to wait for the right moment to do it. The thing is, that right moment might never come and you might never be ready.
So start the blog you’ve been thinking about, apply for that job you think you’re not qualified for or express yourself through art. Most of the times, it’s better done than perfect. Focus on the value you can bring, not on being perfect.
The comparison trap
We tend to compare the beginning of our journey to other people’ success and the behind-the-scenes to the perfectly-filtered feed of someone else’s life. How can we celebrate our accomplishments when there’s always someone doing more and being better than us, right?
As millennials, it seems to be even easier to fall into the trap of comparison and the impostor syndrome. How fast the world is evolving and the constant comparison on social media can make us feel like we need to constantly prove our worth, especially to ourselves.
Own your achievements
When you spend too much time comparing yourself to others, you are putting yourself down and not exploring your full potential. Stop getting distracted by what other people are doing and focus on your own successes. Small or big, they are a result of your work.
There is probably someone out there that is doing it better than you, but nobody is better at being you than you. You always have something to contribute to the world.
Acknowledge your achievements. Write down everything you accomplished so far and allow yourself to be proud for it. When people say you did a good job, don’t brush it off. Smile and say thank you.
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