When I talk with pharmacists who reach out to us here at the Happy PharmD, many conversations lead to a common question:
What’s holding you back from making a change?
If we really get deep into the conversation, if the person is ready to open up and be vulnerable with me, I find that there is a common theme that is recurring, evident, and 100% able to be overcome.
You’re in your own way.
Why is this?
There is a common term that is used to describe this feeling of an internal roadblock: Impostor Complex.
Impostor Complex has been described as “intellectual phoniness” or feelings of unworthiness, often experienced by high achieving individuals. The fear that others will find out they have made a mistake by picking you for the job/role/opportunity.
The great thing is – this is normal. Everyone feels like this at times, and even those we may consider being the most strong, confident, successful individuals experience Impostor Complex.
Even Beyonce experiences Impostor Complex. (WHAT?)
I immediately recall feeling like this many times throughout pharmacy school and into my professional career. Crippling fear of not being correct often led me to stay quiet in the classroom. My own self-doubt has often led to thoughts of inadequacy throughout my professional life.
So, why is this phenomenon holding us back?
Missed opportunities, overlooked chances to highlight our work, limiting visibility.
Speaking of missed job opportunities, it is well documented that women will wait to apply for a job until they are 100% qualified while men feel comfortable throwing their hat in the ring when they have met 60% of qualifications.
The feeling of being a sham may impede the ability to progress at the desired pace throughout one’s career. Self-doubt may hinder the ability to move forward. Feeling like an impostor can limit risk-taking, even in cases where that risk may be safe or may propel your career in a positive way. If we can’t be comfortable in our own skin, or feel inadequate on any level, likely we will just stay put right where we are.
How can we get past this feeling?
#1: Recognize, acknowledge, and dismiss the thoughts of your internal dialogue. Replace negative thoughts/emotions with positive ones and realize that these thoughts are in your control.
#2: Keep track of your accomplishments and compliments. Refresh your memory about why you are valuable and recognize that others are grateful for you.
#3: Work with a coach to move through barriers as a team. A coach can lead you to move quickly past these hurdles and remind you of the amazing person that you are.
P.S. This week, do one thing that scares you. Even if you aren’t 100% ready. 🙂
Jackie is a coach at the Happy PharmD. She loves her family, changing the world, and pharmacy. 🙂