We hear the term a lot these days, Imposter Syndrome, but what on earth does that really mean? I was curious and, to be honest, had taken it all wrong and so I looked it up.
The definition is: “A psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".
It was like a light went on for me when I read that. I had no idea there was a term for what I was feeling. Wait, there are other people feeling the same way?
I am a restaurant consultant. I have been in the business for most of the last 20 years. This year with everything going on I decided to work with at-risk restaurants who are really struggling due to COVID. Having served in a variety of roles over the last twenty years; I've been everything from a host and busser up through the ranks to regional manager, I thought that I was ready for anything. The ironic part is, like many women, I was ready for everything, except dealing with my own mindset.
Walking into my first couple of consults with new restaurants I couldn’t help but feel like I was faking something. I thought to myself:
What if someone noticed that I wasn’t an expert?
What if I couldn’t do the things I was promising or they asked a question that I don’t have an answer to?
Luckily, I have a great support system and I was able to air out these thoughts with so many wonderful ladies in my inner circle. After a couple of conversations and a few successful meetings with new clients, it became easier to see myself as the expert.
I consider myself very fortunate to have that support and I hope that any ladies reading this that suffer Imposter Syndrome themselves follow my advice and surround yourself with support, but if you have to do it on your own remember:
1) Everyone that is an expert had a first day as an expert
2) You can’t get to a thousand days without a first day
3) It isn’t faking it until you make it if you actually are an expert, so own it.
You are an expert. Believe in yourself!