Hi, welcome! The posts under “/notes” are just that: notes about things I’ve read or watched. I used to just write them for myself. I figured sharing them is more helpful than keeping them just to myself. Enjoy!
Sharing a few notes about Imposter Syndrome based on the work of Dr. Vanessa Bohns and Dr. Randy Patterson.
The Science of Influence
I finished watching this interview with Dr. Vanessa Bohns. Here’s what I learned:
- When we focus too much on our insecurities, we hyper-focus on our inadequacies. The only person in the room focusing on our inadequacies is… ourselves.
- We all have an “invisible audience” that we influence without realizing it. That means, what you share is being perceived by others, even if they don’t react to it.
- To get what you want, you need to be direct and along the lines of “Here’s what I’d like and why”. Most people are happy to accept your requests. I recently reached out to 15 people after watching this interview. And yeah, I didn’t think a single one would, and 10 of them said yes!
- Impostor Syndrome’s reframing: you’re feeling like an impostor because you’re doing new things! You’re walking with great people. It’s no surprise you feel that you don’t know anything.
- We are naturally inclined to navigate towards the negative. We think others don’t like us. We underestimate the positive effect we have on people. We’re wrong most of the time.
- Assuming and guessing what other people think, or how they will react to a request, are recipes for dissatisfaction. If you’re not sure about something, ask. By doing that, you avoid jumping to assumptions, and other people will appreciate your caring.
- We are bad guessers and we tend to focus on the negative. Knowing this, I started noticing when I was doing that and challenged myself to focus on the positive instead. If I have no idea what others are thinking (unless I ask), why not think the best of them or the situation?
I love this reframing about Imposter Syndrome. Of course, the anxiety it gives us can be paralyzing. But here’s something interesting about it: it means you’re doing something new and exciting.
How to be Miserable: Fear Imposter Syndrome
I love this short video on Imposter Syndrome from Dr. Randy Patterson.
My favorite quotes:
“That feeling of being an impostor is just you perceiving reality. If it’s your first time doing something, how are you supposed to know?”
“You’re not being paid to be comfortable”.
Imagine you never did anything new with your life. You do the same thing, over and over. There wouldn’t be ever a place for impostor syndrome because you’re a master at doing the same thing all the time.
Between us, that would be fucking boring. I can’t be doing the same thing for more than one year. That might explain why I struggled so much with Imposter Syndrome in my life ;)
As we grow up, we learn that most of our fears are completely imaginary (they might have been caused by real situations in the past, though). But the way we experience the world is directly shaped by our thoughts and feelings, not the other way around.
If you go do something thinking you’re going to be awful, then guess what, you will. Everything will prove your inadequacy.
You only get out of your comfort zone when staying there is more painful than getting out of it. There’s no room for growth if you never decide to figure out what’s out there for you.
By the way, we interviewed him at the hexdevs podcast about this topic. Check it out!
Of course, feeling like an impostor every day will cause you lots of trouble. I say this from my experience. I became so hyper-focused on what I didn’t know that I burned out. All that energy was invested in feeling like I didn’t belong and trying to hide my insecurities.
Next time you notice the Imposter Syndrome kicking in (bookmark this post so you don’t forget), reframe it. If you can’t do it on your own, I recommend learning more about Cognitive distortions. Ignoring your problems will bring more problems. They won’t simply go away.
I hope any of this is helpful to you. I will see you on the other side of your fear.
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