Well, this article comes right on the heels of the Confidence one that I posted yesterday. I think that they are related in more ways that one.
From the Wall Street Journal “Silencing the Voice That Says You’re a Fraud”
I think that every successful person succumbs to this problem now and then. I know that I do. There are days that I am hyper critical of myself. Nothing that I accomplish seems good enough. There are two outcomes to this – I’ll undertake herculean efforts to make what I am doing absolutely stellar and I’ll nearly kill myself in the process, or sometimes I’ll just walk away from what I am not feeling up to snuff about. I really try not to do the latter but it does happen on occasion when I feel that there is no way for me to succeed at what I’ve attempted. Why beat a dead horse right? The former isn’t all that healthy either. Sometimes we all just need to realize when something is “good enough”. Over the years I’ve learned to recognize when I am doing these two things and I’ve gotten better at moderating my behavior. I don’t always succeed and get it quite right, but I’m a lot less prone to the silliness than I was earlier in my career.
I’ve also heard the internal thoughts about being a fraud called the Imposter Syndrome. That’s when you think that other people will realize that you have no idea what you are doing. Eventually they will find you out and they will laugh at you. Many successful people feel this way. I took a class with a group of about 30 up and coming women leaders a few years back. When the facilitator explained this syndrome and asked who felt that way – I think every single hand was raised. It is good to know that I’m not alone… and I suspect it was good for the others to realize this as well.
If you don’t think that what you’re doing is good enough – you are NOT alone.