The Imposter

You should know something about me. I have Imposter syndrome. I want to be clear: I am not actually an imposter, but I feel like one all the time.

I have a great job, certifications and education, and yet I just can’t shake the feeling that I hope no one noticed that I don’t really know what I am doing. Sometimes I truly don’t know what I am doing, but I also know that I am actually pretty good at figuring out what to do in undefined situations.

Imposter syndrome is the feeling that even you shouldn’t really be in the position you are even if you have everything under control and are successful.

There is something to be said for introducing a bit of humility and self doubt to your work, but my imposter syndrome goes far beyond that.

Here are the questions that I tend to ask myself on a regular basis:

  • Why didn’t they hire someone more qualified than me for this job. Was I just a last resort?
  • Do people like to work with me because I am a nice guy, or am I actually adding something to their work? (Usually I feel that I am just a nice guy.)
  • What if someone finds out that I’m not as smart as [insert your name here]?

I feel like at any moment people could find me out. And then they wouldn’t like me.

I don’t really know how to get rid of my imposter syndrome. I’m glad that I’m in the same company as Neil Armstrong and Tom Hanks.

There are some good things that could be said for imposter syndrome. It keeps me humble, and at least I am not falling into the opposite effect where I think that I am better than I actually am.(It’s called the Dunning-Kruger effect.) Or is it just that they haven’t figured out yet that I am not as good as I think I am.

So I think that I am an imposter in many things. Whether or not I ‘get found out’ there are a few areas where I am absolutely confident that I am not an imposter. I know this to be always true of how I feel and act:

  • As a human you are important and valuable. I’ll always treat you that way. Because you are you are valued – full stop.
  • I want you to grow and be better tomorrow than you are today.
  • I want to see you do something great and make a great contribution.

I may feel like an imposter as I deliver my work, But who am at my core, and what I value – there’s no faking that.