Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which people diminish their own accomplishments, do not believe they’ve earned their success, and live in constant fear of being found out as fraudulent because of that. For many Black and Latinx students who face a tech industry landscape where they are already underrepresented, these feelings of not belonging can be especially acute. In her Fam Friday segment last April, ‘Tine Zekis deeply identified with these feelings. She described facing the weight of Imposter Syndrome early in her career and the relief of realizing that she wasn’t alone.
Today, ‘Tine is a software engineer and the founder and CEO of Getting Black Women Paid. In the latter capacity, she serves as a career coach and equips Black women with the tools they need to confidently negotiate and increase their salaries. She is clearly no stranger when it comes to helping people understand that they are worthy of their accomplishments, so for all of the Imposter Syndrome sufferers out there, we’ve got you covered. This is ‘Tine Zekis’s tips and tricks for “slaying the beast.”
- Keep Track of Your Accomplishments
To shake the feeling that your accomplishments are the result of luck, ‘Tine recommends keeping a running list of wins. Rather than simply writing down outcomes, she advises those experiencing Imposter Syndrome to focus on the actions that led to those successes. The result is a list of self-affirmations that you can and should return to on a regular basis to internalize the fact that you are more than capable of excelling in the position you’re in.
The added bonus of keeping a list of accomplishments? You’re ready to hit the ground running when it’s time to update your resume and go up for promotion.
- List Out Your Skills
In addition to listing out your accomplishments, ‘Tine advises folks to list out their skills and name concrete situations in which they were able to successfully implement those skills in the past. Aside from helping you believe in yourself, this list can also be useful when deciding what to highlight in job interviews or on resumes.
- Establish a Hype Squad
‘Tine recommends surrounding yourself with folks who are affirming and supportive. These are the people who build you up when you’re feeling down and give you the push you need when opportunities present themselves. To create your own hype squad, ‘Tine encourages people to attend networking events.
- Build Up Others
‘Tine says that mentoring others can cause you to reflect on how far you’ve come and see how valuable your experience is to someone else. As a mentor you can also help normalize Imposter Syndrome when you identify the pattern in your mentees. In acknowledging that you felt or still feel it too, you help others feel less isolated in their experience.
- Embrace Your Imposter Syndrome
The whole premise of imposter syndrome is that it’s easier to believe that you’ve faked your accomplishments than it is to convince yourself that you’ve earned them. Even if this were the case, the act of successfully “faking it” would be a skill in itself. ‘Tine recommends embracing your Imposter Syndrome. You might find that in embracing the idea that you’re “faking it,” you actually just make it!