As your self-confidence dwindles and your self-doubt rises, you may find yourself wondering how you made it to where you are today. You may find yourself doubting even the most routine task, or freaking out at the slightest mistake. It doesn't matter whether you're new to your career, or a seasoned professional, these sort of feelings can crop up at any time. Do you really have what it takes to make it in your field? Is everyone at the meeting going to finally realize that you're a complete fraud? Maybe someone else would be better suited for this job? If you find yourself asking these sorts of questions, or feeling as though your don't belong in your own career, then chances are you're experiencing Imposter Syndrome.
Imposter Syndrome makes you feel, as the name suggests, like an imposter in your own life, career, or hobby. You'll think to yourself that any day now, someone is going to find out that you don't know what you're talking about and replace you with a "real professional" that knows how to get the job done. Personally, it makes me feel as though my actions aren't really my own. Sometimes when brokering a deal I find myself thinking, what would a real business professional do in this situation? As if there is a clear step-by-step guide through everything that I'm about to do and I'm the only one that hasn't read it. While Imposter Syndrome is often associated with one's career, it can apply to other aspects of your life as well. Maybe you don't deserve that house you worked so hard to buy, because you don't have your life sorted out. Maybe you shouldn't keep at that hobby of restoring cars, because your restorations aren't that good anyways. These are just a couple of examples of how Imposter Syndrome can impact your life and your hobbies, on top of your career.
The good news is that there seems to be ways to alleviate Imposter Syndrome, fighting it off so that you can get back at feeling like yourself again. When discussing Imposter Syndrome with Mike on the podcast, he explains that Imposter Syndrome is something that comes up fairly often in his day-to-day work, but it doesn't let it stop him. He has a couple of methods that he uses to fight it off so that he can get back to work. These methods include:
- Take a step back - Mike explains that taking a break from what he's working on and doing something else like playing a game, or going for a walk, can help him see his issue and his job from a different perspective, rather than just sitting there trying to push through it without a change of environment, or pace.
- Do a small task - If taking a step back didn't stop the Imposter Syndrome from lingering, Mike explains that he will change up what he is working on. More specifically, he will zero in on very small tasks at hand, one at a time. By solving problems, it helps him regain his confidence and get back on track and will help him get some work done in the meantime as well.
- Acknowledge it's going to happen - By acknowledging that Imposter Syndrome is something that we'll all more than likely face from time to time in our daily lives, Mike explains that it should help alleviate the thought that you're alone in experiencing it. By acknowledging that it's something that exists and that many people suffer from it, you may be more prepared for a bout of it, which should help you from drowning in it.
You can listen to Mike's discussion on how he deals with Imposter Syndrome via this video.