I’ve worked in Information Technology for 20 years now, and after my second promotion into management, I started to deal with imposter syndrome. I kept thinking that I wasn’t the right person for the job and that they probably made a mistake by promoting me into such a high management position at the time. I used to worry about my performance and wonder if, at some point, someone was going to discover that I wasn’t as good as they thought I was. I realized that I was a perfectionist and always scared to make mistakes and fail at anything.
My therapist helped me uncover the lies I was telling myself and how to observe my thoughts during the day without attachment. She helped me by focusing on the facts instead of my opinions. I started by writing a list of all of my accomplishments and the hard work that let others see my value. My therapist helped me develop a new relationship with failure and mistakes, which I was terrified of. After a few sessions, I was able to create a new script and understand that failure was only a new opportunity to start again but now from experience. Today, I do a lot of visualization and mentor others, which confirms the value I bring to not only my work but to others in my life. I no longer wait to be ready to get started, I start, and the confidence comes while I push myself knowing that I’m not perfect, and nobody else is. I’m compassionate with myself, and I’m forever thankful for the support I received from my fantastic therapist.
If you’ve felt the same way at some point in your career, know that you are not alone, and that help is always a phone call away. My initial belief made me undermine my experience, devalue my worth, and feel like a fraud. I learned that a lot of people who are highly skilled or accomplished tend to think others are just as skilled as they are, and these thoughts often spiral into feeling that they don’t deserve praise and opportunities over others. I now keep a journal and list every single one of my accomplishments, big and small, equally. I also learned to follow the facts and have created my own personal “board of advisers” comprised of people who can honestly and respectfully share their opinions with me.
In the end, I know that there are a ton of people out there ready and willing to criticize me… and that is more than enough. I don’t need to do it myself!
I was delighted to be able to participate in the new Try.Frame campaign and share my journey with a team whose hope “is that this spotlight series will show people that it’s okay to be in therapy, and while experiencing setbacks and struggles can feel isolating, you’re not alone.”