If you've thought that you don't deserve the job you have or your achievements are just a matter of luck, you're likely to have impostor syndrome. Unfortunately, it's a common issue in web design since this job implies lots of subjective sayings and criticism that don't help cure impostor syndrome.
What's impostor syndrome anyway?
Even though imposter syndrome isn't yet recognized in international classifications, the problem exists and is studied by psychologists. Today, specialists define impostor syndrome as a persistent condition that won't allow a person to recognize their achievements and connect their hard work with positive results. People with impostor syndrome usually repeat the same phrases:
"I'm a fraud."
"People soon will find out that I'm not competent."
"My achievements are results of luck."
As a rule, people suffering from impostor syndrome have low self-esteem and don't assess their competence adequately. As a result, they don't enjoy their well-deserved praise and devalue their professional achievements and skills.
Here are the common reasons for impostor syndrome
• Lots of criticism and comparison with the others in childhood
• Lack of praise and support
• Too much credit in childhood leads to inadequate self-esteem in adulthood.
• The discrepancy between achievement send feedback ("Why have you got an A instead of A+ in the test?")
• Not allowing oneself to make mistakes
Typical indicators of impostor syndrome
Now let's review some typical "red flags" that help you go through a quick self-test.
• You're afraid of failing, so you procrastinate before each new task or project.
• You feel you deceive people, making them think you're a professional and a competent person.
• You never connect your achievements with your hard work. Instead, you think you've been lucky this time.
• You never accept compliments or appraisals from colleagues.
• You would like to be better than others, but a gnawing feeling constantly tells you that you're not unique or better than your pers.
• You're angry when someone criticizes your work and can't accept adequate feedback because deep inside, you realize you have talent and professional skills.
How to overcome your impostor syndrome: 5 tips
The most working approach to overcoming your impostor syndrome is to speak facts and highlight tangible achievements, not just give compliments.
1. Enhance your competencies
First things first, you need to assess your professional skills to figure out your top skills and find room for improvement. For example, mobile UI/UX design could be your strong suit, while web design skills might require significant improvement. Ask your team leader or a mentor to provide feedback or use a skills matrix to get a comprehensive overview.
2. Find a purpose
When you don't see a final goal you're working towards, you can't evaluate the things you've achieved so far. That's why a clear professional goal like getting a promotion or starting a mentorship can get you to realize your strong sides.
3. Allow yourself to make mistakes
When equilibrists learn to walk on the rope, they learn to fall first. This practice helps them accept failures and don't be afraid of falling. Think about life as walking on a rope. Consider mistakes as an opportunity to learn and become a better person. Also, it's important to distinguish your personal mistakes from mistakes made because of external factors you can't control.
4. Control your emotions
Think about an impostor inside you and don't allow it to control you. Whenever you start feeling like you're not worth anything, allow yourself to live through negative emotions like anger and disappointment. Keeping a journal and writing down your emotions helps you keep track of your emotional state, get to know yourself better, and get rid of your negative thoughts.
5. Change your mindset
Most people with impostor syndrome have a typical mindset of a constant achiever. It's important to realize that life isn't all about winning and getting praise. Once you learn to appreciate the life journey, not a final result, you'll get much relief.