Imposter Syndrome arises when you think you’re not capable. Or, that your success arose from luck, not your hard work.
There’s a difference in “still having something to learn” about writing and being a “bad writer.” I don’t know too many bad writers. I know writers who need to learn how to simplify sentences, use examples, title their work, find endings, and more. How can I enumerate this list? Because I continue to work on all of these things myself.
Imposter Syndrome arises from a lack of self-confidence.
How do you gain more confidence? Practice.
The first time I proposed and delivered a workshop at a conference, I was scared. I asked myself, “Who am I to teach this? Why should people listen to me? What if I can’t provide value?” My self-esteem was not high.
Then, when people told me they had never thought of the content in that way, I realized I was the right person for these people at this time. I practiced more content development. I practiced delivering the content. Now, when I develop new workshops, I am confident I can do a good job. And, if I realize I’m not doing what these people need now, I can often fix it in the moment.
I practiced. With practice (and feedback), I gain confidence and expertise.
In my first management position, I certainly felt as if I was an imposter. I practiced. I screwed up sometimes, and my team members let me know when I did. I learned what worked, what didn’t work, and how to tell the difference. I found management practice more difficult than development or testing practice because the feedback loops are often longer.
I like writing because my feedback loops are often quite short. I can learn a lot, just by writing more. I gain more confidence in my writing.
It’s okay if we feel as if we are imposters. The question is what will we do about it? Will we learn or worry? Will we try practice with feedback or worry? Or, will we just worry and hope everything will work out?
I have not found hope to be a useful strategy. Hope does not build my confidence. Hope does not enhance my self-esteem.
Dear adaptable problem solvers, that is the question of the week: How confident are you?