You may not know what this is right now, but you've probably experienced it. I've heard mostly from women on this issue, and mostly women with anxiety.
What is it like to experience impostor syndrome? It's like you are fully qualified and prepared for the job you're doing or the interview you're in, but you somehow feel like you're a fraud. Even though you are absolutely good enough, you feel like somehow you're secretly a fake and someone is going to figure you out.
I have absolutely experienced this lately in pivoting from an almost minimum wage job to starting my own life coaching business, but I have a degree, a certification, and personal experience backing me up and I still feel like I'm somehow faking it.
I hear this all the time when women use the word "just". Like, "Oh I just spent 30 hours on this project and it's alright.." Versus when a man would most likely just state that this is his project. Period. Women are so afraid to take up space in our culture, especially anxious women. I mean really how many times have we walked out of a hair salon with a haircut we hated (and payed for!) and not said anything, or walked out of the nail salon with a janky nail, just because we were afraid of becoming an inconvenience. Or when you're in a class and a girl raises her hand and the first thing out of her mouth is an apology for asking a question. There have been many studies on this, but I won't bore you with the statistics...
What I will tell you is that you are most definitely not an inconvenience, and anyone who makes you feel like one is not worth keeping around. But what do you do when that person is yourself? If you wouldn't tolerate being treated badly by someone else, why would you treat yourself badly? I have an earlier blog post about self-talk and it's importance.
So how do you prove to yourself that you aren't the impostor? There is a principle called the self-fulfilling prophecy, which is a prediction about oneself that comes true because they unconsciously alter their behavior to make it true. When you go into a job and expect yourself to fail, you will. But if you go into a job or a test expecting that you will pass, you will. Especially if you have done the work beforehand. And most people who experience impostor syndrome definitely have done the work. Women with degrees and experience and good work ethic ask for a lower salary because they don't believe they are worth it. But what if we expected higher pay? What if we expected to be valued for our hard work? We just might prove it to ourselves and others around us that we are worth it.
Another helpful exercise for self confidence is affirmations. Yes, you will always feel cheesy when you practice affirmations, but they will help you. If you start everyday telling yourself you're a badass and you look great and you're going to kill it, soon you'll start to believe it.
One more thing I'll leave you with is a piece of advice from podcast host (and goddess), Tanya Rad: "There is room for everyone at the table, so find your spot and take a seat."