Inadequacy is the theme of my life.
My whole life I have struggled with feeling like I’m not good enough.
I played baseball for 14 years of my life and was never good enough to make a travel team or my high school’s team.
I played clarinet starting just before my 6th grade year through my freshman year in college. Numerous awards were never enough to convince me that I could turn that into a career. I didn’t feel good enough to be a professional, so I quit.
When I started dating my wife, I struggled the entire time we dated, wondering if I was really good enough for her. I don’t deserve her. She could do better. These thoughts plague me.
After college, I was unemployed for 6 months after believing I’d had a job before I graduated or soon after. I wasn’t good enough for all the companies I interviewed with.
Since I’ve been hired full-time at Radical Mentoring, I have struggled tremendously with the fact that I was the only guy on staff for a year and a half. I’m not good enough to be in this position. I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve to be respected. I don’t deserve to give advice or suggestions to people who come asking for help.
Can any of you relate to one of my stories?
In the last year I’ve increasingly found myself thrown into situations where I feel like I don’t belong. I’m 24. I’m in meetings somewhat regularly with people who have anywhere from 5 to 40 years more experience than I do in life and in a career.
I feel completely inadequate to be sitting in the same room talking about business, social media, business development, strategy, marketing and leadership.
Yet, it keeps happening.
So how do we conquer impostor syndrome?
Here are 4 things I’ve discovered that help conquer this ailment:
- Tell Others How You Feel –
- Take It Easy On Yourself
- Seek Support and Opportunities to Be Supportive –
- Stop Worrying About Everybody Else
We all feel inadequate at different points in our lives. But that doesn’t mean that any of those feelings are ever legitimate.
Don’t ever allow yourself to wallow in self-pity because inadequacy has taken root and you feel like an impostor wherever you go. You do belong. You are where you need to be. You will get over and through this. But you need to do something about it. You cannot spend all of your time hoping that one day you will feel like you deserve to be where you are.
Hope is not a strategy.
Get in community. Talk to others. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Make sure you have friends who will support and encourage you no matter what. And stop worrying about what some strangers think, because more likely than not they don’t notice 99% of what you are doing.
The more you embrace where you are, the more effective and successful you will be.