It is natural to sometimes feel like you are an imposter. But feeling like an imposter and being an imposter are two different things. Overcome your feelings of insecurity to land opportunities and advance your career. Here are three reasons to overcome thinking that you are a fraud:
1. If you have an inkling to pursue an opportunity, you have what it takes; just communicate it.
If your reaction upon learning about an opportunity is to go for it, then you know you have something that can make you competitive. The key is identifying your edge and clearly communicating it so that people recognize and understand your value.
You don’t have to have 100% of the requirements to be competitive for a job. But you need to clearly communicate what you do have. You cannot assume that other people know your exact skills and experiences; people are not mind readers. You have to tell them. You have to share the information to help them see that you have what it takes.
2. If your intent is to stretch yourself, not deceive, then you are not doing something wrong.
If you say “no” to every opportunity that interested you, you are missing out and hindering your professional development and career advancement.
Successful professionals seek out opportunities to learn. Feeling like you are a fraud may prevent you from growing. Just because you may not know everything now does not mean you can’t learn it. You don’t have to be an expert from the start. You are smart. You will figure out what you don’t yet know.
3. If you are one of the few not raising your hand, you may be losing the opportunity to someone who is less qualified than you.
While some may share your imposter feelings, others will not. There can be people who have less experience than you and who will vie for the opportunities you want.
Ask yourself, “Am I okay with allowing someone else who may be less qualified than me getting that opportunity?” “Am I okay allowing someone else to be seen as more knowledgeable about a subject than me?” If you are not, then raise your hand. Submit your application.
Don’t do yourself a disservice. Remember, you have what it takes; just communicate it. Your intent is to stretch yourself, not be deceitful or wrongful. You may be giving up an opportunity to someone else who is less qualified than you.