You’ve gotten a job offer. Perhaps it’s your first real job out of university, or it’s a position that you’ve been wanting for a long time, or it’s a role you never thought you’d get. You’ve celebrated, formally accepted the offer, signed the letter and given your two weeks. You’re beyond excited to start, until the day before your start date, when you suddenly feel differently.
You get a nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach, and begin to doubt yourself. How come they chose you? How are you going to adapt to the steep learning curve? What if you don’t?
And you plummet into a well of self-doubt, fear and wonder: What if they think I’m more capable than I really am?
This phenomenon has a name, and it’s called ‘Imposter Syndrome’.
This feeling is completely normal, especially when you’ve felt rejection in your life. It can be difficult to accept our successes when we’ve been struggling so long and working hard with no promise to see the fruits of our labour.
But the truth of the matter is: you earned it. You deserve to be exactly where you are, and you getting this job wasn’t ‘accidental’. You worked hard tirelessly, earned the skills you needed and the hiring managers saw the potential of what you have to bring to the table and the company.
You weren’t hired because they were expecting you to do the job perfectly right away. You were hired because the skills and qualities you carry are the right ones for you to eventually succeed in your role. You are worthy, and as difficult as it can be to accept, you were rightfully granted this opportunity. To wither in self-doubt and hinder your performance is doing a disservice to yourself and to those who believe in you.
Understand that people can suffer from Imposter Syndrome in all walks of life – I believe it’s something that can reoccur in life and it still happens to many influential and extremely successful people. Tina Fey, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet have all admitted to feeling inadequate and like frauds. It happens, and you are not alone.
Don’t brush your feelings under the rug. Put your concerns on the table and dissect why you think you feel this way. Most of the time, when saying it out loud to a trusted friend or family member, you’ll realize how ridiculous it sounds. Think about it: why are we so quick to point out our weaknesses and failures, but struggle to accept what we’ve earned?