I think a certain amount of insecurity is part of any person’s professional trajectory. I myself have phases where I feel like the most creative and capable professional in the world, and others where I wonder if I’m just a person who’s been very lucky in life.
It’s the famous impostor syndrome, when you can’t admit your own achievements without crediting them to some external factor. And I feel that, in times of internet and so many imposters in fact, it’s even easier to beat that insecurity of “do I have the clout for this?”
If anyone knows the safety formula, please share it here in the comments. The truth is that everyone has their doses of self-criticism, not always fair, and even the people we most admire go through it.
You know that amazing, successful person in your field that you keep stalking on Instagram? She might do the same thing as you. It is part of the evolution process to question what our weaknesses and even what privileges have made our path a little easier.
Recognizing certain privileges is not giving in to the Imposter Syndrome, because opportunities alone do not make a miracle – it is necessary to make them happen. But it’s important to be aware of the moments in which life gave us a helping hand, not to mention alienating speeches out there.
Who knows, being aware of your privileges, you might not act more actively to open for other people the same doors that were opened for you?
And this is where, in my opinion, is one of the best solutions for the Imposter Syndrome. When you realize that you’ve had a positive impact on someone else’s life or career path, it’s hard to question your abilities.
And this is not even a “be a good Samaritan, help others” speech. Of course it’s nice to help, but I fully believe that the benefits for those who helped are equally enormous. In the professional environment, having a collaborative attitude wins allies. On the internet, sharing knowledge builds authority, which is very valuable.
And that’s not counting the unparalleled sense of purpose you feel when you see that you’ve had a positive impact on someone’s life. It could be using your influence to employ a friend, but it could also be something much simpler – like answering questions in English, sharing your resolution to a common problem, or teaching an email template that will make all the difference.
The Imposter Syndrome exists because, deep down, there are several little external factors that can help us. But if you become one of those factors for other people, the word “imposer” goes out of the equation. It becomes a cycle of collaboration and professional growth. Isn’t that much better?