Earlier this year I wrote an article about experiencing imposter syndrome. If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking here.
The article was great, if I do say so myself (and I do!); however, it lacked a solution to overcoming this inevitable feeling. Now that I am on the other side of all the projects that had me spiraling into an imposter syndrome black hole, I was reflecting on how I came through it and if there was a secret that I could pass along. The good news is, I did find a particular action to be helpful in getting through it and here’s the secret: learn.
I figured out that my imposter syndrome stemmed from the fact that I had taken on projects that were new to me, outside of my comfort zone, or some higher level, more difficult version of something I’d attempted in the past. The unknown was scary. The thought that I didn’t know enough to accomplish something paralyzed me. Then, I put my mind to learning. I started listening to podcasts related to the projects I was working on. I started watching YouTube videos and reading blogs, just about anything I could get my hands on. I started signing up for trial periods of various online tools, plugins and software that claimed help with what I was working on. I tested various methods, learned more about how and what I wanted, and moved forward. I leaned on experts for their guidance.
Then, one day, I woke up and that feeling of imposter syndrome didn’t feel as heavy as an elephant sitting on my chest. I was making good progress on the scary projects and feeling like I might actually pull it off.
So, the solution to pushing through and getting past that feeling is to do, and to learn. But, be sure to keep doing at the same time you are learning. Don’t let yourself go down a knowledge mission rabbit hole and not make any progress on the project. Full steam ahead. Fake it ‘til you make it.
Listen closely and I’ll tell you a secret about how imposter syndrome can stop your dreams and goals in their tracks. Have you ever had an idea? Let’s say you have a passion for and feel led to help other podiatrists choose the right paint colors for their office, but you have this nagging thought holding you back saying,
“What do you know? You’re not a psychologist or an expert in color theory. You’re not an interior designer. All you are is a doctor with a Pinterest account. You’re no expert.”
Right there, your dream is dead if you listen to that voice in your head. Here’s the secret… you already know more than enough to be an expert. All you need is a little confidence, and a willingness to continue to learn more. Your passion for something will make you an expert in it simply because it’s something you enjoy. All you have to do is foster that fascination, and keep doing and learning.
-Ann Dosen