At work I accidentally found all the applicants for the job I currently have.
There were people with way more experience, master's degrees, way more impressive resumes.
Instead of being excited and proud that I beat out all these amazing applicants, I shut down.
"WHY DID THEY HIRE ME?"
I felt like a fraud. Why would they hire this #millenial, right out of college, over all these people?
Was I their last choice and everyone else couldn't do the job? That had to be it. I was positive that they offered it to 10 or more other candidates before offering it to me.
Even know thinking about it is freaking me out.
This happens to everyone. You get the job of your dreams and all of a sudden you don't feel worthy of it. This especially can happen in arts organizations because there is less tangible validation or traditional social expectations.
1. Why did they hire you?
I reminded myself of the question "why should we hire you?" That traditional interview question, but this time I answered it for myself and I believed it. I am dedicated to this organization, this mission, and I have skills that are specific to the job I am doing.
2. Why did you want to work there?
Employers can teach skills, they can't teach passion and dedication. If you wanted to work at that organization because you believe in what they are doing, they see that too. They believe in what you can add to the organization, just like you believe in what the organization adds to the world.
3. Turn the fear into fuel.
Imposter syndrome is being afraid that everyone is going to realize you aren't amazing. Instead use it as a way to fuel your success and accomplishments. If your mind says you can't close the deal because of XYZ, then show that you can close the deal in spite of those reasons!
No one is doubting you to begin with, but prove the imaginary haters wrong anyway.
4. Give yourself a pep talk.
You can't ask your boss or director to constantly validate you. You have got to be your own cheerleader. When you propose a project or pitch your idea, you have got to sell it with confidence, you have to say it is an amazing idea, otherwise how will anyone else think it is a good idea? I am personally a big fan of cute post it notes on my desk saying things like "you got this" or "#GirlBoss" and those tend to get me just pumped up enough.
5. You are enough.
You always are and you always will be.
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