Raise your hand if you’ve never said something in a meeting because you didn’t think it was “good enough.” Raise your hand if you’ve ever not stated your opinion because you don’t think you “know enough.” Me too. Many people call this imposter syndrome, and more often than not women and minorities suffer the most from it.
Right out of college, it can be hard to be confident in your opinions and ideas. At new jobs, or in the presence of powerful people in your job it can be hard to speak up, to voice your opinion. I’ve been in multiple jobs where I’ve either found my voice or didn’t. Here are my tips on how to overcome Imposter Syndrome.
How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome Every Day
1. Write Down All of Your Ideas
Sometimes when I’m working, I have a lot of really great ideas, but I often forget them when I’m speaking to my managers. Writing down all of my ideas throughout the day is very helpful, I feel less like I’m unprepared for conversations.
Carry around a notebook, have an Evernote page open, or even a simple sticky note that you write things down on.
2. Work on Your Delivery
Sometimes you might feel that you aren’t articulate, or aren’t explaining yourself clearly enough. Practice by explaining your ideas to your friend, significant other, mom or mentor. Have them ask you questions, and be ready to think through answers.
It’s okay to take a moment to gather your thoughts. Using “um” and “like” (which I do all the time, trust me) makes you seem less sure of yourself.
3. Stay Up To Date With Your Industry
One of the best ways to formulate opinions and ideas is to keep up to date on industry trends and trends in general. You should already be signed up for The Skimm, which can help you stay up to date on what’s going on in the country and world (which probably affects your business one way or another).
Google your industry with “newsletter” and find a couple newsletter to read in the morning. Also look for blogs and follow important people in your industry and others on LinkedIn and Twitter! Many of these people post blogs that they write or read, as well as commentary that you can use to make your own opinions.
Another option is podcasts! I know I’ve been pounding these a lot, but seriously they’re so easy to listen to, and you don’t have to watch a video (honestly youtube kind of annoys me)!
4. Just Do It
Sometimes you prepare too much. One of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome is to just start talking and doing. Ask for more responsibility, and own it. A lot of getting over imposter syndrome is doing tasks that you didn’t think you could, and for speaking up in meetings and having people like your ideas.
Remember that you might fail sometimes, or you might need help. Learn from these experiences and move on. Falling down a couple of times doesn’t mean that you aren’t cut out for the job. It just means that you’re learning!
Do you ever get imposter syndrome? How do you deal with it?