Apply for a job that I have no past experience in? Terrifying. Scary. Intimidating. The feeling that there will always be someone more qualified than me (on paper), and more knowledgeable (in a specific field) is something that has overwhelmed me to the point where now I've stayed idle in my current, comfort zone of a job because of it. Even if I did get the job I actually want, would people soon find out that I'm "faking" it (because I've never worked in that kind of setting before)? Will they soon find out and look at me as less knowledgeable? Because of these fears, I have yet to take the necessary, next step in switching to a career that I feel would be more beneficial to me as a person, and my ultimate goals in life.
Theses are the thoughts that have been racing through my mind, especially as of recent. I thought I was alone in this way of thinking, until one day I came across the term referred to as Impostor Syndrome - The feeling that you’re not qualified enough, and are a faking it with the fear that others will soon realize and not think you're deserving of a particular position and/or success in the workplace.
The moment I discovered that this feeling even had a name, I felt as though the person who coined it had broken into my mind and published my secret introspection to the world. It gave me such comfort to know that I wasn't crazy for thinking this way. A strong sense of relief rushed over me once I realized that this feeling is something that many others face on a daily basis as well, and that thankfully I'm not alone.
1) KEEP REMINDING YOURSELF THAT EVERYONE STARTS SOMEWHERE.
We will always have self doubt and fears that will hold us back, the unknown is scary. But in order to take control of your life and truly be happy, you must find ways to move around these overwhelming barriers...because you are deserving of whatever dream you are trying to chase. Know that all the successful people in this world have failed at one time or another.
2) REACH OUT TO PEOPLE IN THE FIELD OF WORK YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN.
I've recently been reaching out to bloggers, content marketing strategists, and creative designers to get their feedback about their experiences regarding how they first started out, and how the process behind them moving jobs, & residency (from the suburbs to a city) first took place. It's been extremely informative and has helped lessen my fears about my possible future, especially because they mentioned how they once felt just as lost as well. I reached out to these people in particular because that is the career path that I would love to take, in which I can see myself flourishing in an actively, creative environment. The most helpful advice I've received so far? That everyone is human. To have that said to me was so reassuring that yes, we are all human. To have these fears is normal, but ultimately we all have them...even the people who are "higher up" on the totem pole than us.
3) KNOW THAT CREDENTIALS AREN'T ALL THAT MATTER; UNDERSTAND YOUR TRUE VALUE.
Just because someone is "book" smart does NOT mean that they know everything and anything. Something that I have to offer may be completely different than my colleague, regardless of our resumes and where we both graduated from. As humans, we are all different: from the views we have, to the ideas we come up with...but that's what makes us all so versatile and of value.
4) YOU'LL NEVER KNOW WHAT COULD'VE BEEN IF YOU DON'T TRY.
If you at least try, you then won't have to go through life thinking "what if". Trying and failing is better than not trying at all. If you're afraid of failing just know that, like Oprah says, "Failure is just life trying to push us in another direction".
5) DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
It's hard, SO hard...but oh my goodness does it make life so much easier when you take control of that aspect. Instead of comparing yourself to those around you, just observe (there is a difference) and learn from those observations. Pay more attention to yourself, your successes, and the good YOU bring to the table. Ultimately, you are your own competition.
Have you ever felt this way when it came to how you see yourself?
Do your fears hold you back from taking chances in the workplace?