If you are like me, then you can be hard on yourself at times. Even when you do well on a project, presentation, or assignment, you are focused on what could have been better. You immediately set your eyes on the next target with the goal of perfection.
I just finished a year-long rotational program at my company. While I learned incredible skills and built valuable networks, it was a battle. I put more pressure on myself than I received from my managers or coworkers. I didn’t see every 6-7 week rotation as an opportunity to perform, but more of a requirement to perform.
Throughout the entire year I had no idea where I stood compared to others, so I put an insane amount of pressure on myself to work hard and add value. I never took the chance to relax and realize some of the accomplishments I made throughout the journey. When I had got to the end of the year, I did better than I realized or gave myself credit for.
There is a thing called imposter syndrome. Harvard Business Review calls it “a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence.” When you suffer from imposter syndrome, you strive for perfection and can often feel like you don’t feel worthy of praise you receive. You tell yourself that you don’t belong and feel like you don’t have the credibility to back up accolades or perfection.
A lot of successful people wrestle with imposter syndrome. Even the best athletes and executives doubt their abilities and feel like imposters who are unworthy of their jobs, salaries, or accomplishments. I know that I don’t believe I belong in certain conversations or that I have any credibility or story worth sharing. I question what I’m doing all the time.
You can be your own worst critic. I am mine. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and realize that you are doing well.
Look at what you already accomplished.
Look at where you are in life.
Look at the friends and family in your life.
You are killing it. You are doing greater things than you give yourself credit for.
Maybe you have a big test coming up, a big presentation at work, or just another stressful week at the office. Know that you are doing great! You will never be perfect, and no one expects you to be. You only have one life, so don’t beat yourself down by putting an insane amount of pressure on yourself.
You are killing it!
I appreciate you.