TII #007: How I Fight Impostor Syndrome
Overcoming impostor syndrome can be a game-changer for your career and personal life. Here is my simple yet effective way to deal with it.
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For the longest time I have struggled with impostor syndrome.
It didn't matter whether I got all A's in University or how much money I made.
There was always a nagging feeling of not being good enough. Was it luck? Am I a fraud?
Yet, what I'm good at is analysis. I love tracking what I spend my time on, what I achieve and whether I can improve.
This kind of analysis provides invaluable insights and often helps me break barriers. After looking into the data, I can often make things work that seemed impossible to me.
So, why not apply this analytical approach to fight my own impostor syndrome problem?
Over the past years I have done just that.
Here is what I learned and what you can take away from it:
Think about how you got to where you are
When you feel like you don't belong, it's easy to think that you got where you are by luck.
How did I get through school and uni? I showed up every day and studied.
How did I 8x my salary in only 4 years? I showed up every day and worked.
Not only did I do that, but I consumed a ton of material to improve my negotiation skills and technical skills. Then I applied it.
Just because in this moment you don't feel like you deserve to be where you are, doesn't mean that's the case.
There is a good chance you are not just lucky. You have worked to get to where you are now.
The curse of the obvious
When you are on a path of constant improvement you learn a lot. You often learn something everyday.
Be it how to write a hook for your next Tweet, how to build something for your SaaS, or a new marketing technique.
All these little improvements add up.
Also, as soon as you learn them they seem obvious. Yet, things you don't know seem more valuable.
"Oh, I don't know how to generate AI avatars - I must suck"
You don't. You just don't know it yet.
It's easy to forget, that you weren't born with the knowledge you needed to get to where you are now.
Sometimes when you know something well, it can feel like it's not important. It feels like it's obvious.
Be aware of your own skills.
There will always be something you don't know
This is pretty obvious, right?
You are painfully aware of what you don't know. The more you learn, the more you realize how much there is still to learn.
What isn't obvious is, that this is true for literally every person on earth. Nobody knows everything.
Also, with the ever growing amount of new things to learn, it feels impossible to keep up. This is also true for literally every other person.
This isn't a shortcoming of yours. This is the normal state of being for every person on earth.
Rather than focusing on what you don't know, focus on a process to learn.
Learn something every day. Be curious. Find joy in learning.
The reality is, you will never know everything. Nobody does.
Build processes and systems around learning, rather than focusing on your shortcomings.
Remember your accomplishments
If impostor syndrome is poison, confidence is the antidote.
Think back to how you got here.
Whatever you have achieved is most likely not due to luck. You worked for it.
Do two things now:
Remember your major milestone achievements. How did you get here? This is your antidote.
Start celebrating your wins from now on. This will make it memorable and stick out.
Launched your first business? Celebrate it.
Got your first customer? Celebrate it.
Earned your first dollar? Celebrate it.
This obviously also works for achievements outside of business, but you get the gist.
Having and celebrating these events will make them memorable and build your confidence.
Look back regularly and stock up on that antidote.
Do I still have impostor syndrome? Not really.
But I know it’s there and ready to come out. I have the tools to work against it.
I haven't felt like an impostor for a while now and I hope this article will help you to achieve the same.
Here is the gist:
Look back at your achievements.
Be aware of your skills. Know that nobody knows everything.
Focus on learning, rather than on what you don't know.
Celebrate milestone achievements.
I hope this article was helpful.