Imposter syndrome is something that strikes all of us from time to time. It’s technically (per Wikipedia) “a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud“.
It seems to increase alongside one’s skills. As you learn more about any given area, you begin to realize just how much more there is to learn. If you know that going in, it can be a great thing.
Some years ago, Sonia Simone shared this advice regarding imposter syndrome:
In small doses, Impostor Syndrome pushes us to keep working on our skills. To keep stretching, to fill in the gaps, and to focus almost obsessively on improving ourselves. In moderation, it keeps us honest and makes us better.
To be fair, she follows that up with a warning:
But it quickly goes from being motivating to being a force that keeps people stuck. Stuck in their businesses or careers, stuck accepting their own distorted self-image, while less-qualified people leapfrog past them.
In my mind, the way to fight that is with knowledge, and that’s what keeps me going. That’s why I follow tons of blogs every day, and why I’ve studied various sets of Anki cards over the years, and invest in taking courses like the altMBA.
I’m lucky to be where I am right now, and recognize that there are a lot of people that know a lot more than I do. Looking up to those folks, which helps keep a bit of imposter syndrome in my head, gives me the drive to continue to learn.