Do you ever look at someone online and think:

“Wow, they’ve got it good.” “I’ll never be a real <writer/developer/manager/leader> like them.” “I’ve been doing this for 5 years…does this feeling of inadequacy ever go away??”

Impostor Syndrome

There are many terms for this, but one facet I’ll focus on is the one called impostor syndrome.

Even if you’ve been doing something for a while, maybe you have not been doing it as long as some of the leaders in the field.

Maybe you didn’t start as early as they did.

Maybe you haven’t gotten as far as others have.

Maybe you think you aren’t doing as good a job, or making enough progress.

I can tell you that most people probably feel this way.

Including the people you admire, the ones that you think are way ahead.

Human Nature

The reason that you feel the way that you do is that it is human nature to look around and compare.

It is something we do from an early age, and just about everyone does it.

So remember when you look at others thinking, “I’ll never be able to do that,” or “I wish I had that”…two things are also happening:

  1. That person probably feels the same way about someone else. The quality may be different but the insecurity and envy is there.

  2. Someone else is thinking the same things about you.

Reflecting “From The Ground Up”

Put yourself in the shoes of the second person.

What might someone think about you?

What do you have that you take for granted, that others are probably wishing they had?

If only I had…

Then, with that renewed perspective, think about how you might be able to better make use of that skill, ability or resource.

Now turn it around. How would you feel if you did not have that ability? What would be missing?

So make the most of it today!


Cut yourself some slack.

It does not help to berate yourself for feeling the way you do. After all, it’s very much a part of being human.

Accept it, recognize it, and allow yourself to move forward. The pain recedes quickly.

It becomes a problem when we dwell on that spiral of negativity. The sooner you can move on, the better.