When someone tells you to your face that your work isn’t up to scratch, that you’re not good enough and you’re never going to make it, it will seem like the worst thing in the world.
After all, it isn’t the first time you’ve heard it. Thanks to your Imposter Syndrome it’s the sort of thing you tell yourself all the time.
I’m not good enough.
But it’s one thing to have thoughts like this slushing around in your own brain. To have someone else think it. Say it out loud. That’s the worst thing ever because it will feel like all the things you dread the most have come true:
When this happens you’re going to feel awful. You’re going to be hit by a tsunami of negative emotions. Fear. Anxiety. Panic. Shame. And your default reaction will be to do everything you can to get away from those emotions. Which means more overworking. More overthinking. Playing even smaller than you did before.
But this is exactly what you shouldn’t do.
Because when someone doesn’t believe in you, the problem isn’t you. (It’s never you.)
The problem is you’re making negative feedback mean everything about you.
It’s discounting all the positive feedback you’ve received at other times.
It’s ignoring all the people who have always believed in you.
It’s refusing to entertain the idea that the person in question may be wrong about you.
In other words, it’s only a problem if you decide to make it one.
The solution to someone not believing in you is the same as it is for every other circumstance that triggers your Imposter Syndrome:
How you know you’re doing this right is when you can have someone not believe in you and, however horrible that feels, you don’t allow yourself to overwork because of it. You’re working on something challenging and, instead of spinning out over all the ways you think you don’t know enough, you just get started with what you do know. Instead of shrinking from your goal of being promoted, you recommit to that goal with more determination than ever, looking forward to the moment when you prove them wrong.
To worry about the person who doesn’t believe in you is to miss the most important factor in your success, which is your commitment to keep believing in you, even in the face of someone who doesn’t.
P.S. If you’re a lawyer with Imposter Syndrome and you’re struggling because of someone not believing in you, I can help you with that. Book a free consultation with me here: