On Imposter Syndrome and Self-Doubt

A few weeks ago, I heard about the idea of "imposter syndrome" for the first time. It is described (on Wikipedia) as a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. "Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved." The most interesting line of the description, though, is as follows:

"Notably, imposter syndrome is particularly common among high-achieving women."

In today's world, "I'm not good enough" is such a prominent feeling. And it's perpetuated further by our extreme culture of social sharing and comparison. Even the most confident person is prone to moments of self-doubt.

Earlier this week at work, I had a client onboarding call. Pretty standard procedure for my role. Wel this call in particular went exceedingly well. The client was super receptive and engaged with my strategy and ideas for the campaign. An hour or so later, we hung up and my first thought when I got off was, "Hey I actually know a lot about SEO!" Um? Of course I do. I'm a freaking SEO Specialist for goodness sake. But just that feeling of needing someone else's feedback on whether or not I'm doing a "good job," that I know what I'm talking about, that I constantly need to be proving myself, that I'm not good enough... it's ever-present. And I wish it wasn't.

The reality is, we shouldn't need someone else's sign off to make us feel like our ideas, our words, our thoughts are right, or good, or worthy of being shared. We don't need validation. But sometimes, as imposter syndrome explains, it's really hard to internalize that.

And of course, all of this is easier said than done. But there's something to be said for finding complacency, finding peace with who you are, what you have, and so on. It's a work in progress. At least, it is for me.

So, to any other high-achieving women out there who struggle with these same feelings from time to time, let it be said that you ARE good enough.

But please, don't just take my word for it.