“I am not good enough.”
“I don’t deserve to be here.”
“I can not do that.”
We have all experienced feelings of inadequacy at some point in our lives – moments when you wonder why you are where you are, convinced that you don’t belong in such a room. It’s that sinking feeling that you don’t have within yourself to do whatever is asked of you. Or maybe you’ve already made it, but are wondering how you got there. You may feel that you don’t deserve what you have achieved. This common condition is known as cheat syndrome.
Impostor syndrome can be broadly defined as feeling deceitful or doubting one’s abilities despite one’s awards. There may be a general tendency towards low self-esteem in those affected by the syndrome; it can also just be a specific area in which you have no confidence in your competence. Regardless, it’s not a mental disorder but simply a limiting mindset that affects many people. The real problem is how to deal with it and how to overcome it.
With my law degree and legal background, my approach to impostor syndrome is to find my way out as a lawyer. As? I acknowledge that there is a voice in my head trying to call me a cheater – a voice that I need to drop.
To do just that, I ask them to tell me more, to give me context and reasoning. Then I critically analyze his reasoning and examine the dark areas. At the end of this process, I vigorously questioned it and highlighted all the flaws in its reasoning. In the case of Olga v. The State of Insecurity is Olga at the top.
A lawyer is a great way to deal with impostor syndrome, although it’s not the only way. When you start feeling symptoms, you should realize that you are on to something – you are doing something useful or important.
So don’t hold back! Ask questions that start conversations, then hold those conversations from the position of someone interested in learning. This way, you will build fellowship with other people in similar fields, and you may even gain some followers who are following similar paths just a few steps behind you.
Community is something that makes us feel like we belong. So when you make friends you will realize that this is where you are supposed to be. It also helps hold you accountable, especially when there are people who are fans of what you do or say.
Let’s say you have been elected to a position but have doubts about your abilities in that role. If so, then you should trust the judgment of those who chose you and remember that while the hero may not always be a perfect fit, it was chosen for a reason. Other people who believe in you can empower you to move on.
Make sure you don’t give in to impostor syndrome. It can feel like a heavy burden, but the facts of the matter undoubtedly indicate your suitability. Don’t forget that you deserve the premium representation you give to your customers.
PS Remember, moments of doubt and working through are normal. If these moments lengthen or become debilitating, you may not be advocating yourself (or other approaches). Good news – help is always available. Please look for it.
Olga V. Mack is CEO of Parley Pro, a next generation contract management company that pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga is committed to legal innovation and has dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She believes that through the use of technology, the legal profession will emerge stronger, more resilient and more inclusive than before. Olga is also an award-winning General Counsel, Operations Professional, Startup Consultant, Public Speaker, Associate Professor, and Entrepreneur. She founded the Women serve on boards of directors Movement that advocates the participation of women on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. she wrote Get on board: get your ticket for a seat on the company’s board of directors and Fundamentals of intelligent contract security. You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.