Earlier this year I saw Dr. Valerie Young speak about ‘Impostor Syndrome‘, her talk was called How to Feel As Bright and Capable As Everyone Thinks You Are. Interestingly enough, one of the groups more inclined to have Impostor Syndrome is people who are creative for a living, in part because the work is so subjective and is constantly up for critique.
What is Impostor Syndrom?
Despite evidence to the contrary, there are those of us who are bright, capable people but do not trust in our competence or success, believing instead that we’ve fooled everybody around us. We manage to ignore hard facts like fancy degrees, test scores, GPAs and kudos from people we respect; writing it all off as an accident, working harder than everyone else or that people just really like you. Sound familiar, anyone?
*Anna raises her hand*
So you’re fooling people.
You should probably do them a favor and set them straight: Imagine all of the smart, amazing people you have in your life that (mistakenly) think that you’re smart and amazing. Then imagine telling one of them how daft they are in thinking such things about you, how you’ve so adeptly pulled the wool over their eyes.
Got it? How did that convo go for you? Mine wasn’t great, in fact I’m pretty sure I got laughed at, a lot.
So…maybe you’re not an impostor after all? Mull that over and I’ll throw some more thoughts on the subject your way in a couple of days.