Have you ever achieved something you were incredibly proud of, only to feel like you weren’t worthy or deserving of a seat at the accomplishment table?
Maybe you published an incredibly well-received article, or you got into the company of your dreams only to find yourself stuck in your head, doubting your abilities, and that you’ve somehow fooled anyone who thinks otherwise.
Then you’ve most likely struggled with imposter syndrome, which basically translates to doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud even though you’re successful at what you do.
Sure, on the one hand, I could argue that underestimating your values, skills, and accomplishments might hold you back. But when I compare imposter syndrome to the alternative of being overly confident, I could easily argue that the benefit of self-doubt is far more beneficial in helping you achieve your goals and move forward.
For one, having imposter syndrome keeps your ego in check. While confidence is great, nobody cares for the overly confident, brilliant a** in the room that thinks they’re all that.
You know the person that thinks they’re confident about a topic but doesn’t actually have the knowledge or experience to back it up. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a healthy dose of imposter syndrome over being the brilliant a** in the room any day of the week.
But keeping your ego in check isn’t the only thing imposter syndrome helps with. And here are several more reasons why having some self-doubt isn’t so bad after all.
5 benefits of imposter syndrome:
- Helps you be more open-minded — when you question yourself, you naturally tend to be more open to taking in and applying new information. As you can imagine, this can be incredibly valuable when you’re problem-solving, whether it be solo or with a team.
- Motivates you to work harder and grow as a result — while it’s important not to attach your self-worth to your achievements, sometimes questioning your self-worth can push you to work harder and grow as a result.
- Breeds more empathy — oddly enough, experiencing the feeling of being outside your comfort zone will be enough to help you relate or empathize with others struggling with similar thoughts. And if there’s anything this world could use more of lately, it’s empathy.
- Strengthens decision-making abilities — just like questioning yourself can help you stay more open-minded, sometimes it can also help you make better decisions. If you’re not convinced, just think about how much extra research you end up doing when you’re second-guessing yourself. And with more research and data at your fingertips, you’re more likely to make a better decision.
- Keeps you humble — unlike inflated confidence, imposter syndrome reminds you to find a balance between confidence and humility. Because at the end of the day, no matter how awesome you are at your job or successful you become, there’s ALWAYS room to learn and grow.
So next time you get hit with a wave of self-doubt, consider spending some time analyzing it further so you can truly make it work in your favor. After all, successful folks like Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama, or myself for that matter, wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for imposter syndrome propelling us forward.