This post is dedicated to my sister – the moon.
In the spirit of Halloween, dressing up and pretending to be others, we’ll be discussing the Impostor Syndrome today.
The Impostor Syndrome
“is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. The term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved“
(Impostor syndrome. (2017, October 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:24, October 30, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Impostor_syndrome&oldid=804470881)
The Impostor Syndrome is the belief that your abilities are grossly exaggerated and that you actually do not deliver quality work (even when everyone who has worked with you says you do). It’s like you’re in a room full of Gucci and you swear you’re Gussi and it won’t take long for people to find out.
Stupid? Well, not as stupid as you think because, this is the reality of many people you come across everyday. Even me. With me, the thing is when you’re young-ish and regarded as top-notch/quality by more experienced people, there’s a lot of pressure that comes with it. You either believe everything they say or you don’t. Believing everything they say places you at risk of being a pompous individual who is not worth a dime. Not believing what they say puts you at risk of feeling unworthy… fake.
The Impostor Syndrome is visible in the “fake it till you make it” approach. People start of believing that they can until they realise the enormity of what they’re doing – *shrieks* I’m a fake!!!
Do you think you’re an impostor? I have some questions for you:
– who told you that?
– who said you weren’t good?
– who said you weren’t that good?
– who said you weren’t good enough?
– who said that? Who?
If you’re the one saying it, here’s how to test yourself (and hopefully prove yourself wrong):
1. Review your job description/mission statement/vision/the raison d’etre of your product/service/platform. Now and as often as you can. Write it out in a notebook. Read it out loud and check every word, every line. Am I functioning in this capacity or am I doing more? Am I doing less? Where are the gaps? What should I improve on?
2. Document everything you do: This is the one that struck me the most this year. I wrote down every project, meeting, process that I was a part of and all my input. Looking at my input made it easier to qualify the value I had brought to the table. I recommend using a cloud-based worksheet like Google Sheets. It is easy to update on the go and also access it anywhere you have internet connection.
3. Learn something new about what you do (Fam, I feel like this is all I say – no vex! The truth is if you’re not learning, you’re dying (not a physical death perhaps). So you have reviewed your mission and you’ve seen what you do regularly – where are the gaps? Plug them. There’s only so much that you know now that can take you far. Only so much. The goal is to always be one step ahead on your current path. How do you do that? You learn. There are so many free platforms for you to do this. I share about learning all the time, so click here and here for more inspiration.
4. Amplify Yourself – maybe someone else will, but how will people know what to amplify? What are you? Who are you? Jesus was always on that the-Son-of-Man p. He even got to the point where he asked “Who do men say that I am?” And “Who do you say that I am?” – borrow his statement o – flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you!
Here’s a quick self-amplification exercise:
– look your best/look your worst/look like you
– stand in front of the mirror
– arms akimbo, legs apart, feet facing forward, squeeze your bum, squeeze your abs
– open your mouth and declare! If you don’t know what to say, sing. (Sinach’s I Know Who I Am is a great song for this). You know why you can do this? You’re not running on empty! You refuel where necessary. You even have your storage tank for ⛽️!
Amplify yourself publicly: update your LinkedIn – I’m guilty of this – treating LinkedIn like an unnecessary tool. Uhm… it is not unnecessary. If you read this post and this post on KacheeTee’s blog, you’d see how important a tool LinkedIn is. Ensure you document your achievements with every role/function you had (remember point number 2, it is useful here). Even if you can’t give complete details, you can tweak it to pass across the important stuff – You DID it!
On-the-job Reviews: this was what caused this entire post to be honest. For some organizations, this is the period where reviews are done to see if you’re meeting the agreed expectations. I observed that people do not know how to capture their achievements well and the truth is how will you capture what you don’t know? Refer to our point number 2. Document everything and when the time comes, sieve the data to bring out the koko of the oro using words like Achieved, actively Supported the achievement of, reduced a and increased b, led the team that.. all of that. Leave nothing out.
This is not the time for humility – amplify yourself! I am not saying you should take team effort and present it like you did it all by yourself – uh, you did not. However, amplify your effort.
Having done all, stand. To be honest eh, it is this standing that is the difficult part. Knowing your worth and not bowing to the flimsy opinions of others. There is also the fact that some of us standby while people rubbish your value. Ah ah ah. Don’t do it. Curb that! Even if they’re laughing and joking, curb it.
I wish you all the best in your chosen endeavour(s), do you wish yourself well? You’re not a fake. You are authentic. You are able and capable! Even if you faked it to this point, catch up. Catch up with yourself.
Have a beautiful week, guys.
Love and Light,