There are times I feel unworthy what can I do about this?
DR. TATE’S ANSWER
Thanks for your question!
Many high achievers share a dirty little secret: Deep down they feel like complete frauds–their accomplishments the result of serendipitous luck.
This psychological phenomenon, known as impostor syndrome, reflects a belief that you’re an inadequate and incompetent failure, despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful.
Experts measure their competence based on “what” and “how much” they know or can do. Believing they will never know enough, they fear being exposed as inexperienced or unknowledgeable.
Do you shy away from applying to job postings unless you meet every single educational requirement?
Are you constantly seeking out training or certifications because you think you need to improve your skills in order to succeed?
Even if you’ve been in your role for some time, can you relate to feeling like you still don’t know “enough”?
Do you shudder when someone says you’re an expert?
It’s true that there’s always more to learn. Striving to bulk up your skillset can certainly help you make strides professionally and keep you competitive in the job market. But taken too far, the tendency to endlessly seek out more information can actually be a form of procrastination. Start practicing just-in-time learning. This means acquiring a skill when you need it–for example if your responsibilities change–rather than hoarding knowledge for (false) comfort.
Realize there’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. If you don’t know how to do something, ask a coworker. If you can’t figure out how to solve a problem, seek advice from a supportive supervisor, or even a career coach. Mentoring junior colleagues or volunteering can be a great way to discover your inner expert. When you share what you know, it not only benefits others but also helps you heal your fraudulent feelings.
No matter the specific profile, if you struggle with confidence, you’re far from alone. To take one example, studies suggest 70% of people experience impostor syndrome at some point in their careers.
If you’ve experienced it at any point in your career, you’ve at one point or another chalked up your accomplishments to chance charm, connections, or another external factor. How unfair and unkind is that? Take today as your opportunity to start accepting and embracing your capabilities.