The inability of a high achiever to recognise accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.
6 weeks ago I took a new job in a new city. It was a big and scary change. I’d been with my previous company for almost 9 years and I was very comfortable there. But, times were changing and my little ecosystem was being broken apart so it was time to move on, but I had one big cloud hanging over me- Impostor Syndrome.
The problem you see, is that because I’d been comfortable for so long I felt as though I had no transferable skills to apply to a new job.
What if I’m not as good as I think I am?
What if I’m only good at my job here, but the standard is much higher outside these walls?
I talked myself in and out of leaving at least 100 times. I bounced the job off of everyone I knew, including my manager, to get validation that I could fulfil the job expectations. In the end, the only thing that got me over the line was knowing that the world I loved was not going to be there anymore- change was inevitable so I may as well choose the type of change I want.
I went through 3 interviews, one of which was on a self-funded, last minute trip to Sydney. Even after the final interview, I had doubts…
What if I mislead them with my resume and think I can do more than I can?
This job is paying a lot of money, am I worth this kind of money?
I was more concerned about my inability to do the job rather than the fact that I was uprooting a life I had for 6 years in Melbourne and moving to Sydney- a city that I had never once considered living in. I probably should have given a little more thought to this.
Well, guess what. I got the job and you know what? I’m killing it.
I am a paid writer- Look Mum, No Hands!
After years of writing, I am now officially a paid writer. My Mum has always been my biggest advocate. She would set me writing tasks as a kid (she’s a teacher) and I would torture her with my poetry. All these years of practice were preparing me for this job. I knew I had it in me, somewhere, to be successful in this job, because if I didn’t then I wouldn’t have applied. If you are passionate about what you are doing then you will be good at it.
How to deal with Impostor Syndrome
Well, our minds are pretty hard to wrangle down when you’ve climbed up the crazy tree, but I found that reminding myself of these things was pretty helpful in getting my confidence back.
- You only need to know more than the person you are talking to, you don’t need to know everything.
- If you didn’t believe that you are capable of the job then you wouldn’t have applied in the first place.
- What’s the absolute worst thing that could happen if you fail/don’t like it? You get another job. That’s it. There is NO shame in that.
- When your friends and family tell you you’re awesome- believe them. Don’t be humble, soak it up and use it.
- Have faith that your new employer knows your skill set and can make the right decision.
- What is life without risks? These are all stories you can pass on to your children and grandchildren.
- YOU KNOW YOUR SHIT!
“You only need to know more than the person you are talking to, you don’t need to know everything”.
I hope this helps all of you at there who think you are not good enough to stand up and chase your dreams. You are worthy! Take the risk because if you don’t, someone else will.
Recovering sufferer of Impostor Syndrome