You did it! You nailed the interview, got the huge new gig, and said fond farewells to your old colleagues. There’s oohhh-ing and ahhhhh-ing at your fancy new title and big name organization. You’re moving on up!
Then it hits you, maybe the night before you first day or the moment you close the door to your new office, “Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into? I’m not qualified for this! They’re going to discover they made the wrong choice, and I’m screwed!”
Panic sets in and your mind starts reeling through all the ways you’ve hoodwinked your way into this role. A role that you’ve desired and strove toward with blind ambition for as long as you can remember.
What the hell is happening?
You my friend have been hit by a case of imposter syndrome. It’s estimated that up to 70% of us feel we’ve fooled others into thinking we’re more talented or competent than we believe ourselves to be. 70%! That’s just depressing.
A new job, a promotion, heck even being on a volunteer board or entering into motherhood can create feelings of fraudulence. You likely feel if anyone were to pull the curtain back when you aren’t looking, they’d surely find a trembling kid, totally unsure of the "right way" of doing things and making it up as she goes.
Imposter syndrome is a natural response to constantly rising to the height of your capabilities. It means you’re stretching and growing, you’re developing and showing up for bigger and better experiences.
Still feeling like a fake? Well, here are three quick reminders to prove to yourself that you, my friend, most certainly do belong.
You’re not alone
Everyone had to start somewhere… and odds are they were scared sh*tless on their first day of that big new job or position too. Not too many people go around openly sharing how terrifying a new role or project was for them. With 70% of us suffering from Imposter Syndrome, I guarantee that during big moments like these, most of us feel like the real Oz who's hiding behind the curtain.
Which means you’ve accomplished a lot. Odds are your new organization isn’t filling a quota by hiring you for this new role. You are here because of all you’ve accomplished. So write down all your successes, your accomplishments, what you’re most proud of achieving for fodder when you’re feeling terrified. Success always exists in the rearview mirror, so keep this list of accomplishments in your back pocket as a shot in the arm reminder for when fear overwhelms.
Yes, you. As a person, not a title or fancy new position, but honest to goodness you. It might come as a newsflash, but we exist as people outside of our professional selves. If work has you feeling fraudulent, think of all the amazing ways you show up outside of your professional life. As a friend, in your hobbies, at the gym, whatever reminds you that work alone does not define all of who you are. Let your bevy of robust awesomeness ground you with confidence.