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This is a difficult post for me. Since I started my consulting business, I’ve struggled with this issue quite a bit. When it came to working on my own, things were not that smooth. I started to doubt my abilities. 

Imposter Syndrome  tells you that your feelings of inadequacy are all in your head. I’ve written about this before. Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with you and the work that you do is absolutely what you should be doing. 

Now, I’ve come to realize that it wasn’t all in my head. There were things that I was actually quite bad at. I didn’t want to come to terms with it because I hid behind this new jazzy term. It seemed to fit the bill, so I went along with it. Turns out I was so wrong. 

So how do you identify whether it’s imposter syndrome or you’re actually bad at the task at hand?

Check Your Motivation 

Ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’re doing the work for the wrong reasons, you’ll eventually hate doing it. People don’t really avoid things they enjoy doing. And the reason they enjoy doing something is because they are generally good at it. 

Look at Other People Doing the Same Job

Comparing yourself to others is usually a bad idea. So, here’s what I propose. Don’t compare yourself, rather try to learn. 

If the same job is easy for others but, significantly challenging for you, maybe it’s not your cup of tea. You’re probably in the wrong line of work and the sooner you get out, the sooner you can focus on what you’re good at.

Elicit Feedback from People 

This is by the far the most difficult. You don’t need to directly ask for feedback. What you need to do is be a little mindful. If you open your eyes just enough, you’ll begin to see a pattern. You’ll realize that people avoid you when it comes to certain tasks. You’ll also notice feedback in how people interact with you. 

Needless to say, the process isn’t all that easy. Nor is it immediate. I don’t mean to sound petty but, I used to think that the mind can overcome anything. It’s never that simple and you usually only realize it when it’s happening to you. 

The one thing to remember is to never ignore that gut feeling. Think about whether it’s something you’re feeling for no reason or whether there are deeper issues there.

There’s no shame in not being cut out for a job. In fact, I solemnly believe that the sooner you figure out what you’re good at, the sooner you can devote yourself to your true calling.