Do you feel as though you achieved your success by dumb luck? Or that at any second someone is going to reveal the truth: you don't belong among your colleagues and peers. This sensation of feeling like a fraud--despite having rightfully earned your success--is a problem for many high-level achievers all over the world. It's called imposter syndrome.
According to a new study by researchers at Brigham Young University, the best way to conquer imposter syndrome is to connect with people who work in a different field than your own. This can offer you a fresh perspective on how your abilities contribute to a greater whole and show you the ways your work makes an impact.
Let's discuss three ways you can network with people outside your industry and use their knowledge to combat your imposter syndrome:
1. Ask Your Network for Recommendations
Your network no doubt includes many people in the same field as you. But those people may have great friends or mentors who would be willing to sit down with you and have a discussion.
Ask them to make an introduction to someone in a different field--not only will this widen your network, but it'll be helpful (and comforting) to hear about other people's experiences growing within their career.
As you open the discussing, your new contacts should be able to look at your work from an objective point of view since they don't know you personally. By hearing their thoughts and feedback about your professional achievements, you'll be able to feel more confident in your skills.
2. Support a Cause That's Important to You
Think about a cause you care about personally. It could be climate change, animal rights, fighting poverty, or anything else you'd like to support.
Attend fundraisers and charity events for this cause or volunteer your time and expertise to a nonprofit in this area. It will be a great way to support a cause that's important to you and create new relationships with people in other fields. These people will show you how your hard work makes a direct impact on others and help you realize you've earned your success thanks to your work ethic.
3. Reach Out to Your Alumni Network
Speaking with your college or university's alumni network is a great option for meeting people who can guide you in your career and help you combat your negative thoughts related to your accomplishments.
You can meet people from your alumni network through a formal association or in an online group. You'll already have a close connection to them as you attended the same university, so it will be easier to confide in them and listen to their opinions without feeling a sense of judgment.
Remember, it is important to discuss your feelings rather than keep them to yourself. By reaching out to people in different fields, you'll be able to see that you deserve all of the success you've achieved, and be proud of yourself for coming this far.