Will the real Manejah please stand up.
"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do." — Eleanor Roosevelt
So I've been wanting to talk about this one for awhile now. It's a big one for me. And although I've been aware of it for decades — whispering in my ear after every job offer, checking my confidence during every presentation, casting doubt on every letter ever written — it's been only recently that I realized it had a name: Imposter Syndrome
By now we're all very aware of imposter syndrome (there's about a bazillion Thrive Global articles that can catch you up on the subject) - what it is and what it does to the inner workings of a person's confidence. It's about feeling completely legit one minute and like a complete fraud the next.
I've always considered myself a fairly confident person, resilient to self doubt agitators, yet there it was, next to me in the bathroom stall, watching me cry my eyes out on the first day of my first job as a programmer, standing in the shadows on my first 100 pitches at a PR agency, front row at my first Manejah PR webinar and yep, definitely right next to me as I'm writing this post.
It affects us all. In fact researchers say that 70 % of people will experience it at some point in their lives - with men actually suffering from it more! Imposter syndrome comes alive while your brain works to balance self-worth with achievement. Somewhere in between there your brain is convinced you are not who you said you are, and your accomplishments are merely a result of some good luck or a really great lie.
This manifestation hits us career changing, solopreneurs hard because we are always stretching the boundaries of our comfort levels, choosing the paths that can make us feel unsure of our capabilities and doubtful of our legitimacy. To the point that we will actually question our experience, asking ourselves "Did I really lead that project and contribute to its success or was I just along for the ride?" Am I even the real Manejah? (definitely a discussion for another blog post.)
Need a pros help with your imposter syndrome? Check out the latest video course, Confronting Imposter Syndrome from DEI subject-matter expert and inclusion strategist Vernā Myers and my client, The Vernā Myers Company.