No matter what, if you have experience in your field, and if you have all the right skills in place, there will be a time and place where you are facing something new and imposter syndrome will creep its way in.
Recently I faced this challenge and I didn’t realize until a week has passed and I found myself crying in therapy. So if you find yourself backed up against a wall, scared to make a mistake or speak up due to imposter syndrome, here’s 5 things you can try to over come it.
Find your crew:
I am a huge fan of finding your support for the different situations you are dealing with. I luckily have a variety of people (I’m not popular this is maybe 4 people) I can go to when I am facing parenting problems, self esteem problems, running a business problems, money problems, literally any adulting problem and the same goes for work problems.
Find friends fast, most places have an onboarding process, so when people offer to help, definitely take the opportunity.
Speaking of Questions, ask them right away and often:
Everything will be confusing at first that’s normal. Sounds normal when you say it but in the moment, during meetings, during work activities you immediately feel like you should be a machine, taking in data and putting all the pieces together instantly. Being confused is completely normal. At least this is what my therapist tells me. I promise you no one is upset or mad that you may be confused on some of the work, if they are, they are assholes. Period.
Sometimes, we hold off on asking questions right away, in fears of “sounding stupid”. We have all been there. Here’s a secret, people LOVE talking about what they know. Even I love it, if you asked me about cars and how to take care of them, I would literally just stare blankly at you. If you asked me about different ways to create content for a project you’re starting, you’re going to get an hour long conversation, an email with references, and me volunteering to do social media tasks for you. So….that takes me to the next tip.
Have more conversations, specifically from people who have other perspectives:
If you’re nervous about one-on-one, join other meetings where you don’t have to talk. Listen in on how other people work on a project, the problems they are facing and how they are resolving those problems. Take note of keywords or phrases that sound familiar, captures your attention or that you have no clue about, this will help you formulate the questions you may need answered later on.
Take things a step further and see how you can contribute to these conversations, whether it’s something you worked on before or overheard others working on so you can bring value without the pressure of having to contribute in every single meeting you’re in.
Explain what you do to someone who doesn’t work with you:
This one was surprisingly helpful.
I didn’t really know how much I understood until I explained everything to someone else. And I was making the dots connect as I was talking through the project. I was able to articulate, what what happening and what problems I saw.
During the ups and downs of the day we are constantly taking in information and we never take the time to slow down and process it all.
Take the opportunity to explain things to someone who wouldn’t know all the details of your work.
Speaking of slowing down…the biggest thing you can takeaway from this article is this final tip.
Give yourself a break!:
Don’t take everything personally. People have their own problems to solve and their own worries to manage. No one is coming for you to make you feel worse. This gives you the perfect opportunity to take things slow and make mistakes, this is how we learn.
I wish you the best on your endeavors and if you have more tips leave them below!