Ife always says big words, and so when my sister asked me if I had ever experienced imposter syndrome, all I could think of in my head was “what is this one saying again?”
Then she broke it down for me and I suddenly could relate. I had experienced this countless times but I never had a term to describe or refer to it.
Some years ago I produced some Afrocentric notebooks and I got a lot of orders, the feedback from my customers was amazing but deep down, I questioned my success with the notebooks. I kept wondering if my customers were just being nice and polite. On some occasions, when my friend (Alaba) accompanied me to send out orders, I would whine about how I was not okay with the notebooks, she would constantly reassure me that the books were perfect, and then when the customers sent back their review on how they loved the books, she’d say “I told you so”, I’m pretty sure she thought I was a crazy perfectionist.
I have experienced imposter syndrome in two forms, one as an employee and another as an entrepreneur. One time, I worked as an in-house designer at a hotel, I had to turn in my resignation because I kept wondering what the management saw in me and my designs because I felt they were not good enough. Looking back at those designs now, boy, they were good!
Do you ever feel you are not as competent as other people perceive you to be? Or you feel like a fraud at your current position and that people would find out soon enough even though you’re putting in all the work? Or do you feel like you don’t belong? Well, you’re not alone and that feeling of inadequacy when you’re probably doing amazing stuff is referred to as Imposter syndrome.
So how do you get rid of this feeling? Well, I wouldn’t say I have completely gotten rid of it, but I have gotten better at dealing with it. I have learned and I’m learning to let go of my inner perfectionist. I’m also learning to accept praise. I’m learning to be more kind to myself and I also talk about my feelings with my friends and mentors. If you’ve been having feelings of inadequacy, perhaps these could help you too.
Have you ever experienced Imposter Syndrome? Share your experience and how you’ve dealt with it with me.