Girl, You Fake!

Woman in front of red wall with eyes closed

If you have ever experienced self-doubt, you’ve probably had a run-in with its sister—the imposter syndrome.  In fact, 70% of people encounter the imposter syndrome some time in their life. So that means it’s highly likely that Beyoncé, Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Roz Brewer all experienced the imposter syndrome at some time during their careers. 

Just so we can be clear, the imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud.  It can really affect how people view their accomplishments or even affect their thoughts about their worthiness.  So, RELAX. You’re normal.

Be sure to not let these feelings overwhelm you and deter you from accomplishing your goals in life. Personally, I’ve had my own struggles with imposter syndrome when I start reassessing my life.  In the process, I have learned a few things along the way that help ease my self-doubt.

When you’re about to enter into a situation where you feel overwhelmed by your anxiety and self-doubt, be sure to prepare as much as possible.  My preparation manifested itself when I was on the hunt for a new job.  I thoroughly researched the companies I was interested in.  I was well aware of the company’s history, core values, previous employees, current employees, and its stance on various topics in the media.  Research calmed my feelings of anxiety and self-doubt.  

Along with preparing yourself, don’t forget to highlight other skills.  For instance, if the job calls for expert level technology skills and you just aren’t there yet, highlight that you’re a problem solver with excellent collaboration skills. Basically, if the job calls for a skill that you haven’t mastered, propose another relevant skill that you have mastered.  Also, be prepared to highlight your strengths with real life examples.

Equally important, change your mindset! If YOU don’t think you can do something, then you’re probably right. You can’t do it. Cultivate confidence in yourself.  The great philosopher Aristotle stated, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Our words are so powerful to our minds.  So, if you need to have positive affirmations written on your bathroom mirror (shout-out to Being Mary Jane), then do that to practice gratitude and mindfulness.  Developing a positive mindset can go a long way in combating imposter feelings. 

We’ve all heard the phrase “fake it until you make it,” and maybe even “fake it until you become it!”  Both phrases are true and very helpful. With the discipline of “faking it,” you’ll start to believe in yourself.  You’ll fake it enough times until you manifest it and actually become what you thought you couldn’t be.

If you think I am just out here faking it and skating by, you’re exactly right! I prepare as much as possible and maintain confidence in everything I do. If that isn’t enough to quiet my self-doubt, then you better believe I’m faking it until I become it!  See you at the top, Sis!

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Ashlee Hamilton

Beryl, this was a great read! Imposter syndrome is so real and I love the tips you provide here to manage it. A friend was just sharing with me his feelings of imposter syndrome, so I’ll make sure to share! He was working in a law firm and feeling like an imposter. Now he’s working for a judge and realized that 1) he’s way more capable than he thought and 2) many lawyers share those same feelings of imposter syndrome that he felt.

Anita Frierson

Love this Beryl! I agree at one point we all deal with imposter syndrome so I appreciate your insight that preparation is key and to maintain confidence. Great piece!

Faith Anumba

“Fake it until you become it.” That’s going in my quote journal. Imposter syndrome is a constant battle for me in all faucets of my life (work, volunteering, and even relationships too). Affirmations are key to owning my skills🔑 I think I can becomes I KNOW I can before you know it! Great post, Beryl!

Beryl Harris

Yes, yes, and yes! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Imposter syndrome does not discriminate it will come whenever you have an once of doubt! Keep
Pushing yourself girl!

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