Imposter syndrome occurs when the skills required for your job exceed your inaccurate self-perception of your abilities and worthiness of the job.
You know you suffer from imposter syndrome when you feel like you aren’t good enough to keep the job you have or are constantly worried you’re going to lose it.
Imposter syndrome occurs when competently skilled people have a damaged sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
From a career progression standpoint, having imposter syndrome is a major liability.
When you under-perceive your abilities and worthiness to tackle a new assignment, you will be less aggressive in pursuing new opportunities.
When you under-perceive the value of your own ideas, you will lack the assertiveness needed to be an effective leader and take on higher degrees of managerial responsibilities.
When you undervalue yourself, you will not ask for the compensation you’ve rightfully earned but haven’t yet been paid for.
In short, imposter syndrome is an extremely expensive way to manage your career, as you lose out on opportunity, promotions, and raises.
Even if you manage to fake your way through to higher levels of success, you feel like such a fake that you can’t even enjoy it.
For someone with a strong sense of self-esteem, success brings calm and joy.
For someone with imposter syndrome, success brings anxiety and stress.
To address this issue, I suggest avoiding various methods of “faking it till you make it” and instead address the root cause of imposter syndrome... an impaired sense of self-esteem.
Self-esteem, and especially an impaired sense of self-esteem, is something people do not like talking about publicly.
I know that was the case for me when I suffered from terribly low self-esteem for the majority of my life.
I also underwent a self-esteem repair process that has been a complete game-changer for my life.
For many people, self-esteem can be developed with guidance and some practice.
For others, low self-esteem is based on childhood trauma and requires much more intensive work (such as working with a therapist — which I highly recommend for certain situations).
In my class on How to Develop Unshakeable Self-Esteem and Incredible Self-Confidence, I walk you through a blueprint for understanding how healthy self-esteem develops organically, how it gets damaged, and what steps are needed to repair it.
Esteem is not an overnight fix, as you have to unlearn a lifetime of mental habits and adopt new ones.
However, it is a profoundly strategic and high-leverage opportunity because your self-esteem (or lack thereof) impacts your career, your ability to develop high emotional intelligence, your work relationships, your romantic relationships, and relationships with friends and family.
It is one of the few things that has enormous benefit to both your personal and professional life.
To get started, take a look at my program on How to Develop Unshakeable Self-Esteem and Incredible Self-Confidence.