Impostor syndrome, am I suffering enough to write about it?
My whole life I was questioning myself:
Am I doing this right? Is this the right way I am going? Do I deserve what I get at the moment? Should I ask for a raise?
Let’s start from the beginning:
At school I was a loner. I was the girl who was picked last when teams where build, I was the girl who where bullied at school because I was different. I liked Pokemon, going out into the nature and never joined the gossip group. In this time I’ve asked myself whats wrong with me, why are they bullying me? What did I wrong? And the Idea came up, that MY behaviour must be wrong. It never changed in my schooltime that I was a loner. When I went to college, it gets a lot better (hey, I wasn’t bullied anymore, but I was never really a part of a group and the questioning, if something is wrong with me never stops).
When it came up to apply for an apprenticeship, I was questioning myself again: “Am I the correct person for this Job? It’s an IT-Job, you’re pretty bad at math, you can’t handle it! You’re not skilled enough with computers to do this job!” — I applied for a Job and get the Job. My Boss was really impressed of my skills and I finished my apprenticeship really well and get a certificate for the second best graduation in germany.
BUT — I can’t accept it! My boss payed me a reward for my good grades and I was like: “But it could be better, I was not the best, only the second best, I don’t deserve it!”
I quit this Job after my apprenticeship and started a career as Campaign Manager. I was pretty new to this topic and it was so fun to learn something new. I was working nearly 12 hours a day to be perfect in that job (sometimes a lot more hours). After 1 month my boss told me, that I have to be a mentor for a trainee for 2 months. At this point I was paralyzed. I was arguing, that I was only working for one month in this job and do not have enough experience to be a mentor for someone. He told me, that I am doing an awesome job and I am the perfect fit for a mentor. I was suffering from insomnia for 3 days. Since this trainee I was a mentor for 7 trainees. I quit this job too, because I nearly burned out because of the responsibility, the hours I worked a day and because of my collegues who where envious about the fact, that I was a mentor (again I was bullied because of who I am).
A half year later I get an job offer in my company I am working now as a web developer. And I love my job! Now we’re getting to the point, where I discovered the so called impostor syndrome.
Discovering the impostor syndrome
- Does everyone overestimates you?
- Do you tend to discuss yourself?
- Does fear of failure paralyses you?
- Do you decline your own success?
- You can’t understand the compliments you’ll receive?
- Do you focus more on what you haven’t done?
Yep, 100 Points to Gryffindor… ehm Madeleine! I talked to him again and he explained me, how to come out of this bad circle:
- Say every time to yourself: „It’s only in my head“
- People acknowledge your work
- They appreciate you as the person who you are
- They will give you feedback, if something went wrong
- Accept compliments, people critizise more, than giving a compliment
2. Write a diary
Give yourself a chance and write down, what you’ve done really well on that day
- I cooked a really delicious meal
- I wrote a very good part of code
- I helped out an elderly person to enter a train
3. Ask yourself: “What would I do, if I was not afraid?”
- ask my boss for a raise…
- ask the cute person in front of me out…
- start a new job…
- start a new project….
…if I where not afraid
4. Talk about it
I am helping myself right now to escape the impostor zone when I am writing about it
5. Captivate your friends
- Every time you underestimates yourself, spend a cup of coffee or maybe a beer to close friends if they notice that you do it and point it out.
6. Stop commenting compliments
- Say „thank you“ to the „sender“, don’t discuss yourself
- Take a look, what you’ve done for the person/customer/boss and then ask yourself: “Would the person give me a compliment, if my work was as shitty as I think?”
This methods help me every day to get out of the impostor zone. I am not discussing myself as much as I did a year ago. I can accept, that I’ve learned a lot in the past 2 years. I can accept, that the conference went pretty well (that’s why I am doing it again). Maybe this methods will help you too :)
Last but not least: Be kind to yourself! You’re as perfect as you are and you’re the best person you can be!