The One Big Lie Your Imposter Syndrome Will Make You Believe

impostersyndromeAuthor: Richard Moy
Source: The Daily Muse

A lot of thoughts tend to go through your head when you’re worried that you’re not good enough for your job.

You might be convinced that your boss asked to see your most recent project again because she’s finally figured out that you’re terrible. Or maybe you wake up with the sinking feeling that you weren’t invited to happy hour last night because your smarter colleagues wanted to talk about how dumb you are.

There are plenty more, of course. But as a card-carrying member of the “Impostor Syndrome Forever Club,” I can tell you there’s one humongous lie that the majority of club members believe on a regular basis.

And because it’s often really hard for people to put it into words, I’ll do it for you.

I’m one mistake away from losing my job.

You’d have an incredibly hard time finding someone who’s never made a mistake at work. But while some people are good at moving on and focusing on the next thing, you and I often can’t shake this sinking feeling without assuming the worst.

Personally, I’ve lost count of the number of times I made an administrative mistake and figured that it wouldn’t be long before someone from HR came down to my desk and politely asked me to never show my face around the office again.

But the good news is that unless someone has come to you and explicitly said that you’re on thin ice, most people understand (and accept!) that even the smartest people slip up. And that also applies to you.

You might be thinking, “Rich, this sounds great, but I’m still pretty sure that if my next email to my boss doesn’t have flawless grammar, she’s going to send me packing.” And trust me, I had that thought at least 25 times as I wrote this article, so I get where you’re coming from.

But like most instances in which you feel insufficient for your job, putting yourself at ease is often as simple as asking for additional feedback on whatever’s worrying you.

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