You are sitting at your desk with your knees shaking anxiously, your stomach is filled with dread and your head is saying “This is it. Today is the day I am going to get fired. Everyone will realise I am not good at my job”. This is how Manila, the UK Channel Account Manager at Pure Storage explains what imposter syndrome feels like to her.
You might have felt similar feelings, or you may not realise what you are dealing with is imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome means having feelings of doubt about your self worth, feeling like a failure and as though you aren’t as good as your friends, family or colleagues.
If you have felt this way, that is normal! Mike (whose Master’s thesis was written about imposter syndrome) tells us that up to 70% of people have experienced these feelings at some point in their lives. Especially for women, young girls and non-binary individuals in tech careers.
Now you know what imposter syndrome is, we can look at ways to tackle it…
- You can calm your mind by realising that those with imposter syndrome are usually the ones who are doing the best job!
- Try writing down all of the things you have achieved on a given day, no matter how big or small they are. Then, compare these to the things you didn’t do so well. The list of positives usually outweigh the negatives, and you can admire all the things you have done well!
- Keep a gratitude journal and write three things you are grateful for at the end of any given day. This helps you to look at the big (and little) picture and helps you see all of the good and bad things about your life outside of your job or education.
Keep in mind, imposter syndrome might not be something you want to tackle completely. This may sound strange, but having imposter syndrome can sometimes mean we make sure we give 100%, and never turn up late to something important, as we are extra cautious of being good.