Demanding customers, work schedules that can feel never-ending, and pressure to meet ever-rising expectations all make working in the events industry extremely challenging. To achieve any degree of success in the events industry is worth acknowledgement, but it can be hard to give yourself credit when your ambitions go so much further. Many people feel imposter syndrome, the pattern of someone doubting their own skills and achievements, or a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
In 2017, Forbes rated events jobs as one of the top 5 most stressful jobs. This job isn’t easy, and it’s crucial for event professionals to take care of their mental health. Even if you are just starting out, the fact that you have made it as far as you have in the events industry is a huge accomplishment. It’s important that you give yourself credit for your efforts and achievements. Here are some tips to beat imposter syndrome.
Recognize the Pattern
Imposter syndrome rarely appears exclusively in your professional life. Start recognizing the symptoms in your everyday life to get to the root of the pattern.
Some symptoms of imposter syndrome:
- You get uncomfortable when accepting praise
- You hold yourself to much higher standards than the people around you
- You have a crippling fear of failure, or, in your mind, getting “exposed”
- You consistently find excuses to give credit to someone or something else, even when you’ve worked exceptionally hard for something
- You believe that, no matter how hard you work, you’re really just doing the bare minimum of what’s expected of you
- Not believing that people take you seriously
- You continuously apologize, even if you haven’t done anything wrong
If you relate to some or all of these symptoms, think to yourself, how does this type of thinking impact my mental health? How will it impact my professional life in the long run? Be mindful of the language you use when in thoughts or when speaking about yourself. Are you a good friend to yourself?
Fix the Way You Speak to Yourself
If you ever tell yourself that you “haven’t done anything special”, even if you’ve survived and even thrived in the events industry for years, it’s time to start correcting yourself. If you ever have a negative thought about yourself, take a moment to address that thought, correct it, and say something positive about yourself. You do not need to be the devil’s advocate against yourself.
Fixing the terms you use during self-talk can have a profound impact on your self-image. You wouldn’t speak negatively about an old friend of yours, whether they were struggling or doing well. You should grant yourself that same respect.
Realize That No One is Perfect, and No One Expects You to Be
You aren’t alone in this fight. Many of the people you look up to likely feel the exact same way that you do. Even if you find the success that you want, you’ll still feel the same way if you don’t address the root of the issue.
Everyone has their own struggles and shortcomings, and no one is perfect. Don’t be ashamed of the things that aren’t your forte— this is what hiring the right team members is for! Success requires a lot of work and marginal improvements. Allow yourself the time to work and develop skills continuously throughout your life. There will always be more to learn.
Talking to people about this issue can be eye-opening. You may realize that others feel the exact same way and view you in a much brighter light than you view yourself. Building a support network is one of the best ways to help yourself. The perspective of a like-minded person who understands your struggles can be immensely comforting.
Commit to Being a Good Friend to Yourself
Ultimately, it is impossible to get over imposter syndrome if you accept your negative self-talk to be your reality. You have skills, talents, and achievements, and everyone around you knows it. It can be hard to accept your success when you focus so much on your shortcomings, a common trait for people who put enormous effort into improving themselves. Until you recognize and give credit to your own efforts, you will continue to struggle with imposter syndrome.
The events industry can wear you down overtime, but it’s important not to lose yourself in it. Recognize the self-deprecating thought patterns that you hold on to, fix the way you speak to yourself, and build a support network around like-minded people. If you want to say goodbye to imposter syndrome, you need to be as committed to yourself as you are to your job.