Ladies! How many times have you been asked to do something and the dreaded Impostor Syndrome hits you? I’m willing to bet it’s pretty often, am I right?
Recently I was having a conversation with an amazing, smart, successful woman who is going to be speaking on a panel at an event and you know what she said to me?
I don’t know why I’ve been asked to speak on this panel! I’m not senior enough.
Regardless of her seniority, this woman knows her shit. Believe me. Yet she was feeling like an impostor because her she is younger than the other panellists and her job title doesn’t match theirs in terms of seniority. Of course I told her she has every right to be on that panel because she does have the experience (regardless of her age) and people will learn loads from her contribution to the discussion.
I know she’ll inspire everyone but she’ll absolutely inspire others in the audience who might be thinking, ‘I’m young, I’m not a manager so why would anyone want to hear from me?’. They’ll identify with her and realise that if she can speak on a panel, then they can too. And isn’t this diversity something we want to encourage? Empowering young women, and men, to talk about their work alongside more experienced peers?
Now, I’ll hold my hand up and admit that I get Impostor Syndrome from time to time too. Of course I do, it’s normal. But then I stop and think:
I wouldn’t have been asked to do this if I didn’t have the skills and experience. They believe in me so I must believe in myself and just go out there and do my best.
And I totally live by the motto, feel the fear and do it anyway.
Have you ever suffered from Impostor Syndrome? How do you handle it?