Just curious, how many times has the phrase Imposter Syndrome shown up in a podcast you listen to or an email you read in the past few months? It seems to be the new buzz phrase, especially when it comes to female entrepreneurs. If you have somehow been under a rock and missed what exactly Imposter Syndrome, let me catch you up: It is when you have the knowledge/qualifications/etc. to have achieved your success but yet you still feel unworthy of it. I may be oversimplifying it but when you break it down this is what the syndrome amounts to.
Yes, Imposter Syndrome is real but it’s also not just in your head. I want to share with you a moment I dealt with my own Imposter Syndrome. In a previous job I rocked the hell out of my role. I crushed numbers. I got published in a national industry newsletter as a rock star example of how to get shit done. I could show up in any room and never need a name tag. Sounds like the perfect example of being successful right?
There was just one thing I could not accomplish, there was a local People to Watch featuring who’s who of the business world. Two of my lesser-known colleagues had both been featured in it, but I was not. I kept wondering why wasn’t I good enough? What was I missing and where was I coming up short? I felt like the other successes I had were somehow flukes. Long story short I felt like I wasn’t good enough regardless of everyone else telling me I was.
Fast forward a year after I left that work environment, I had finally earned my own spot on the People to Watch list! Not only did I earn my spot but I also learned I had been considered other times but had been “blacklisted” by my old job and those coworkers pitched as better candidates instead. The leadership there felt that my coworkers needed a boost of confidence. It wasn’t until I was away from that toxic environment that the magazine felt I was able to be approached for the list. Honestly, after learning that my spot on the list felt twice as sweet because not only had I earned it, but I earned it on my own merit not at the expense of someone else’s work.
So why do I share this? My Imposter Syndrome, the moment that caused me doubt while it came from my own insecurities, those insecurities were created by the toxic environment by which I was surrounded in. Next time you’re doubting your own success or worth I want you to step back and ask, “Is this me doubting me or is the world making me think I should doubt myself?” You may be surprised when you think about it and realize you’re not an imposter, you’re just surrounded by assholes.