Did you know that Psychology Today’s very first tip in achieving and dealing with success has to do exclusively with imposter syndrome?
That’s because people often feel that they do not deserve the success they have received – this usually goes one of three ways:
- They fight the undeserving feeling so hard they ultimately reverse it, becoming big-headed. This leads them to feel that they deserve every bit of success they have, and that success is owed to them. This isn’t an ideal situation, as it breeds arrogance, egotism, and entitlement.
- They fully fall into imposter syndrome and feel that they are not worthy of their success, have not done enough, and become afraid that others will realize they are ‘a fraud’. Their fear of being found out and the guilt that the carry wears them down and ultimately leads to poor decisions and poor self-esteem. This is also not ideal, as it goes far too far in the opposite direction.
- They accept that their success is a mix of their hard work and luck, or, both their efforts (which they fully control) and opportunity (which is less controlled). This leads to a healthy balance between owning your success and being grateful for it. This is the ideal, as it breeds a heart of gratitude, giving, but still leaves room to be proud of your hard work and its ultimate payoff.
But how do you become that third type? How do you make sure that neither arrogance nor imposter syndrome takes hold?
Well, for starters, you can follow the same five tips that I did when my company skyrocketed to the forefront of the DFW digital marketing and web design industry – a hugely competitive market that JSL Marketing & Web Design has been dominating for years.
1. Remember Your Failures – They Can Teach You
Remember that one failure that really sticks with you. Maybe you tried to start a business and it flopped. Maybe you tried to get a big sale and you lost them. Maybe you tried to learn a new skill just to discover it was much harder than you expected. Maybe you even worked for a company and it ultimately wasn’t a good fit – whatever your ‘failure’ was – hang onto that memory.
You can use this as a way to stay humble, as well as a lesson. There is something to learn from every situation, whether it be a win or a loss, and remembering to always look for that lesson is the first step in becoming successful (and ultimately, dealing with that success).
2. Remember Your Wins, Too – They Can Motivate You
The inverse of the above tip is true too – your successes are great lessons and great motivators as well. Make sure you don’t ruminate on your failures so much you forget about your big wins.
Remember, in order to be ‘type number three’ from above, it’s all about balance. Balancing your hard work with gratitude, and your acknowledgment of failures with successes!
3. Comparing Helps No One – So, Don’t Do It
You will probably never be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs – and that’s okay.
But comparing yourself (to those above or below) isn’t healthy and helps no one. Comparing yourself to those less successful will simply inflate your ego and comparing yourself to those more successful will dishearten you.
The only person you should ever compare yourself to – is your past self. And make sure you blow them out of the water!
4. Don’t Advertise Your Success (& Don’t Hide It)
Here is yet another tip that directly related to balance – don’t shout your success, and don’t hide it. Your success isn’t the entirety of you, which is why you shouldn’t advertise it as if it was, but it is still a part of you, which means you shouldn’t hide it.
Instead of taking one of these two extremes, let your success be a small part of your overall self. Meaning, it can come up at times, it can be acknowledged at times, but it isn’t the only conversation piece or tried-and-true small talk topic you have in your arsenal.
Lucky & Grateful VS Undeserving & Pretending
This is where it all comes to a head, isn’t it?
Ultimately, you should feel lucky and grateful for your success, not undeserving and pretending, or arrogant and entitled. If you focus on having a grateful heart and a thankful outlook, then you will be able to avoid both imposter syndrome and the possibility of straining your neck by how large your head gets.