If you’ve heard of impostor syndrome, chances are you’ve probably felt it at least once in your life. It’s actually a term that’s somewhat new to me. I first heard it a year or so ago when I was telling my husband that I didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing as a blogger.
He told me there was actually a name for that- Impostor Syndrome. It’s when people doubt their skills and accomplishments and they feel like a fraud. When I looked it up, I found out that it was pretty common for bloggers. It helped to know that I was wasn’t the only one who felt this way sometimes.
Now that I’m exploring my options for going back to work as a counselor, I’m starting to feel impostor syndrome again. I haven’t done it in so long and I’m afraid that I won’t know what to say or how to help. Plus how can I help others when I’m dealing with my own problems? Surprisingly, I’ve learned that many counselors feel the same way. The more I learn about it, the more I see that most people have felt like an impostor at some point in their careers.
Letting it stop you from trying the thing you’ve always wanted to do isn’t the only option though. I’ve been working through mine with my counselor and today I realized that for me impostor syndrome comes from being a perfectionist. I put too much pressure on myself to be perfect. So I don’t feel like I’m an expert because I’m not perfect.
But expecting perfection from myself or anyone else is unrealistic. No one is perfect! No matter how hard you try, you can’t know everything there is to know. So instead of focusing on what I don’t know, I’m working on paying more attention to what I do know.
Fighting Impostor Syndrome
To overcome impostor syndrome, I’m working on reminding myself these things:
- I have the skills I need to be a good counselor.
- Not only do I have a Master’s degree, but I went through all of the steps to get licensed.
- I care enough about helping others that I want to make it my job. That has to be a good place to start.
- Before I had kids, I was building a successful private practice. My clients were coming back so they must have thought it was helping.
- If I don’t try, I’ll never know if I could have been successful.
This is still a work in progress for me, but I will always have to keep learning and working on myself if I want to be good at anything.
If you’re trying something new or going back to work after some time away, maybe you’ve had the same fears I’ve had. What has helped you to work through the self-doubt?