The Impostor’s Advantage

by | Sep 29, 2020 | Product Management, Engineering

You certainly heard of Impostor Syndrome – the feeling of accomplished people belittling their own talents and constantly being terrified of being discovered as a fraud.

While it might feel like a handicap, it’s actually an advantage. You already took the hardest step of developing a better version of yourself: you accept that we humans are clueless most of the time and appraise knowledge you can learn from.

Being clueless is normal. Feeling like an impostor is a psychological quirk, not the truth.

Feeling intimidated about asking a question? Push yourself to ask that question!

Turns out other people feel afraid as well. Asking that question helps to improve everyone’s understanding. Being clueless is normal!

When you start openly admitting to being unfamiliar with a tool or some code, your teammates themselves will feel like less of an impostor themselves. Their confidence will go up. And in turn they’ll become more likely to admit the same, creating a virtuous cycle boosting the entire team’s morale.

The impostor’s advantage is a super power.

That feeling of being an impostor is your subconscious telling you something: It’s saying you’re about to push yourself past your comfort zone and into the growth zone. Now when an opportunity shows up and impostor syndrome starts twitching in the pit of your stomach, that’s a sign you should jump at it!

This will lead you to take on bigger and more ambitious projects, without worrying about being exposed. You will delivere results, helped by the various people you’ll be no longer afraid to reach out to.

Everything you approach will still start with the thought, “I have no idea what to do here.” Then you’ll remind yourself, “no one else does either.”

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