Imposter syndrome—the feeling that you’re not as talented as you think you are—is a common affliction that can hold you back in your career. To overcome the insecurity, follow this advice from the Inside Higher Ed website to conquer imposter syndrome in your career:
Build your confidence
The way to build confidence is to challenge yourself. Start off with something small. Once you’ve succeeded, move onto a slightly bigger challenge. Think about what you’ve accomplished every time you complete a step. In time, you’ll feel more capable and less fearful.
Share your worries with your family and trusted friends. If they support you, they’ll show you things you haven’t considered before—strengths you’re not aware of, or accomplishments you’ve forgotten. Often, they have greater faith in you than you do in yourself. Learn to rely on their opinion of you.
Look at some of the common challenges you confront—calling people, going on interviews, making presentations, or something else. Practice them with a friend who can both help you improve and tell you when you’re doing a good job. Practice not only makes perfect, but it’ll also help you grow more comfortable and less hesitant in stressful situations.
You may be afraid of letting people realize your gaps in knowledge. Counter that by learning as much as you can about your field so you can talk about it intelligently. Seek out people who can teach you—most will be eager to share their knowledge with someone who really wants to learn more about their specialty. Read, take classes, and follow experts online until you’re knowledgeable about the topic you want to master.
Find a mentor
A mentor can teach you the ins and outs of your profession and build your confidence as you advance. Look for someone who believes in you and your potential. Listen to them, ask lots of questions, and take what they give you so you can move forward with less fear.