How you know you've got imposter syndrome

Photo by  Joe Roberts

Photo by Joe Roberts

Find yourself second guessing yourself, and feeling like you’re tricking everyone around you into thinking you’re doing an awesome job? Welcome to the imposter syndrome club.

Imposter syndrome can be summed up quite simply by the explanation of feeling like a fraud. It's the nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you think you've tricked people into thinking you're good at what you do. Never mind the fact that you're actually excellent, and that's why people think you're so great. 

It's not something that lingers around constantly. You can definitely still have times where you know you're bloody amazing, and need no reassurance (although it is always nice to hear how great we are isn't it). But those episodes where you do sit their nervously chewing your finger nails or staring into space wondering when they're going to find you out can be incredibly overwhelming.

My bouts of imposter syndrome really started in one of my previous jobs. I'd never done anything like it before, and been paid to do it, and it all really sounded like a dream come true. It all started well. I did everything I was asked to do, in fact I'd go well above and beyond to show how great I was. Which must have worked because I got little promotions after promotions until I got to the point where I just thought to myself one day, How have I fluked my way here?

This is one of my trigger thoughts that reminds me of my imposter syndrome. When I start thinking about my skills in terms of being lucky, I know I've fallen into the fraud spiral. Of course there is a huge element of luck that got me to where I am today in regards to how I was raised, where I was raised and having support, but I do remind myself that it's totally OK to be proud of my achievements, and that I am actually good at my job.

I think the biggest relief I've had so far in my career is actually learning that imposter syndrome exists. It would be so awful to know I've been working for upwards of five years and still be thinking I was tricking people into thinking I was capable without having a name for what I was feeling. 

I truly encourage anyone and everyone who's having feelings like this to do a bit of reading and see just how common imposter syndrome is. You'll stumble across many celebrities along the way who also experience it, and, who knows, this may give you a bit of familiarity and relief. I know when I read Emma Watson suffered from imposter syndrome I breathed quite the sigh of relief!

Just know you're not alone, you are amazing, and you can do extraordinary things! 

Lara WyattLara's Life