Building confidence by doing

Earlier this week, we talked about impostor syndrome. That topic resonated with a number of you. It really seems that, from time to time, we all experience the fear of being exposed.

So what can we do about impostor syndrome?

A key ingredient of impostor syndrome is a lack of confidence. Regardless of your ability, when you feel like an impostor, you don’t feel confident.

In my experience, the number one antidote to impostor syndrome is doing, because taking action leads to confidence.

When you start doing the things you feel less confident about, one of two things will happen:

  1. You’ll do them well (which builds your confidence)
  2. You won’t do them well (and you’ll learn from your mistakes and you’ll do better next time)

Either way, in the long run you’ll build your confidence by taking more action. And the more confidence you have, the less you’ll suffer from impostor syndrome.

The hard part is taking action while you still feel the fear of being exposed. You’ll need to act despite the fear.

This is where a little mindfulness or self-awareness comes in. When you’re about to go into that scary meeting, you can tell yourself “I feel fear, but I’m going to do this anyway”.

You can’t talk your way out of impostor syndrome. But you can do your way out of it.


— Peter

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