Recently, I was (virtually) sitting in a room with 11 other women in a kick-off meeting for a business mastermind I joined. It was a great meeting, filled with inspiring women and information. As the zoom call progressed and everyone made their introductions and talked about their goals and plans, I felt a wave of self-doubt fall over me. As the meeting came to a close, I began to wonder:
Am I good enough to contribute? I haven't accomplished enough for them to take me seriously. I feel behind and unqualified. I recognized the feeling much quicker in myself than I would have in the past. UGH. It was imposter syndrome - the feeling you'll be found out as unqualified or a fraud. I teach classes on imposter syndrome. I post about imposter syndrome and I still feel it. But, this got me wondering. I bet if I'm feeling this way, I bet that other women left this call feeling the imposter monster, too. I reached out to two women I knew well in the group. Yes, they felt it, too! So, I started a chat thread in the broader group and just admitted - vulnerably - that I had a bad case of impostor syndrome! One by one, women in the group (no matter how much they earned or how long they'd been in business) admitted they hung up the call and felt the exact same way. We all had different reasons for feeling it (education, salary, clothing choices, personality, etc), but shared the same feelings of doubt. I share this with you because I want you to know that you are not alone if you feel this way at work or with anything new. In fact, research shows that nearly 70% of people experience imposter syndrome. It doesn't go away with more money, a bigger title, or more credentials, but you can learn to manage it and not let it hold you back. When I feel imposter syndrome I:
Notice it without judgment
Name it (There's that imposter monster again!)
Normalize it (Even the most successful women feel this way)
Reframe it (This is what growing and stretching my comfort zone feels like)
What triggers imposter syndrome for you? Next time it happens, what will you do to reclaim your confidence?
PS: I talked about imposter syndrome, media boundaries, and my favorite reads in my Facebook group!