A client lamented that they had imposter syndrome — that self-imposed feeling that you’re not qualified to do what you are doing — because there was a new element to their position that they had yet to master. I tried to explain that there was no expectation on anyone else’s part that they know everything — and that needing to learn something did not make them unfit for their current role.

The negative voice in our head too often jumps to generalizations — “if I don’t know one thing then I must not be qualified overall.” Quell that defeating self-talk by reframing your lack of knowledge as just that — something you need to learn — rather than incompetence. And don’t lose sight of the fact that you likely have a whole spectrum of skills and abilities where you do have confidence — keep things in perspective.

The next time you find yourself with a dilemma or scenario that’s new to you, rather than see yourself as an imposter, treat yourself as a learner who can take in new information, solve problems, and grow.

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