“What’s talent but the ability to get away with something?” Tennessee Williams
Unless you are a complete narcissist, socio or psychopath, chances are you will (or probably already have) experience(d) some form of – “oh my gosh, they are going to figure out that I can’t do this.” It’s called imposter syndrome. And it’s just your ego/psyche/internalcrazymaker trying to take you down. I don’t know (and neither does science) exactly why this happens – maybe it’s some culture phenomenon (“don’t you get too big for your britches” was what I received growing up). In any case here are a few things to consider when you’re feeling especially fraudulent:
1) Reminisce (in your head) on all the people who have appreciated your work-service-knowledge-skill in whatever it is you’re feeling particularly frauddy about. Better if you can create a “feel good” file (paper or digital) of the thank yous you’ve received over the days, weeks, months, and years you’ve been at your particular fraudulentness. I recently listened to an interview of Tim Ferriss who has an “Awesomeness Jar.” He throws awesome accomplishments into the jar (sort of like fortunes from cookies) and pulls a few when he is feeling less than stellar – can you believe that happens with HIM!?!
ACTION: TAKE IT IN (key action, allow the accolades into your mind).
2) Call a good friend (notice I said good friend) and share that you’re feeling a tad unsure/insecure in the particular situation. Let them GUSH about how great you are. Ask them to help you remember SPECIFIC examples. Note: some mothers can be great at this as well – think Everybody Loves Raymond.
ACTION: TAKE IT IN (key action, receive, receive, receive).
3) Review your favorite projects. Look back over work you are particularly proud of and bask in those yummy feelings.
ACTION: TAKE IT IN (key action, relive (re-feel) the feelings you had at those accomplishments).
Taking It In: Nothing will work if you are adamant about wallowing. I think it’s super important to feel feelings fully. What’s less helpful is getting stuck in any of them for too long. Bonus ACTION: Give yourself a set amount of time to feel all the stuff around being an imposter: yell, cry, fidget, worry, etc., and when the time beeps – let it go and get to work. Each time I do this, I run out of “feels” before I run out of minutes, lol.
Don’t worry, be playful
It’s likely you are having momentary self-consciousness and doubt. Trust you, trust your work, you’ve got this. And when it doesn’t feel like it, follow points 1, 2 & 3.
Now, if in fact you are literally being fraudulent, well then, stop that. That’s just wrong on so many levels.
Share the love (in the comments) of other ways you rise above your self fraudulation.
big love and imposter-busting hugs, j