Confidence, Networking, Personal Development

Don’t Be an Imposter: Take Responsibility for Your Successes

I was asked this week by a member of a content management team to provide a project management story, an example, for a project management module the group was working on. He reached out to me saying they were looking for “project management experts” to share career experiences.

My first thought was,

I’m not an expert at anything, let alone project management.

This is often my first thought when someone says I am an expert or experienced in a topic. The shock of someone considering me an expert and my own resounding echo of self-doubt were classic imposter syndrome. The imposter syndrome is that feeling that people will find out you can’t cut it, that you’re a fraud, or that you’re incompetent.

What if I submit one of my projects and it’s not any good? Or it shows that I really can’t manage anything?

These were just a few of the thoughts going through my head.

But anyone who feels the effects of the imposter syndrome, like I did this week, can’t let it put up roadblocks in your path. If it’s drained all your confidence, you can either “fake it ‘til you make it,” or pull out a stash of confidence boosters and run through those road blocks. Take responsibility for your successes, write them down, and pull them out in these moments of self-doubt.

That’s what I did. I have a great resource of projects I’ve worked on written down in a Dropbox folder, built from my professional engineering licensure application. I pulled that out and thought,

Yes, I can do this! I have made it from through several ranks of project engineer. I have managed projects from manufacturing to consulting services; I should be able to provide something.

Do you ever have moments of self-doubt or are overcome by the imposter syndrome? How do you deal with that? Do you fake it ‘til you make it,” or do you have a stash of confidence boosters? What are some of the ways you take responsibility or record your successes?