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How to tackle the impostor syndrome during a lock-down (Covid-19 edition)

Last week I spoke to Dr. Emee Vida Estacio about impostor syndrome. I know all of us have been dealing with this rather strange time and the impostor syndrome that used to be used typically in a professional context, is now true for our personal lives as well.


Parents home-schooling their kids are feeling the pressure of being day carers, teachers, entertainers, along with being parents, colleagues, and partners. Suddenly we are more aware than ever before about how much we are not. It may feel like we're not enough and we're frauds in our roles as the senior Partner of a firm, the technical colleague or a competent carer. If this is you, read on!


Dr. Emee suggested a psychology backed technique called TLC, to deal with it. When you are in a situation and you're filled with self-doubt, she suggests using the following quick analysis:




  • Is it TRUE - Am I really incompetent / lack knowledge?

  • Is it LOGICAL - If am competent, is it logical for me to feel like a fraud? If I think am not competent, can I become competent overtime and am I asking too much of myself right now?

  • Is it CONSTRUCTIVE - Is this self-doubt benefiting me or someone else?


I love this technique because it's logical and puts things in perspective. But what I really loved is this other technique she speaks about - the FLASHLIGHT technique.


She suggests we use an imaginary flashlight that we could either shine upon ourselves and our self-doubt or on others that are being helped by us, in spite of our self-doubt. This is actually the "me first" approach vs the "others first" approach. So, even if you're feeling like a fraud, if you're helping other people with it, you're doing just fine. Relax and give yourself a break.


The time is being particularly tough on all of us across the world but if I had to add my two cents to Dr. Emee's words, it's that self-clarity emerges from self-doubt. And actually, self-doubt is a great tool in your arsenal to have because it makes you want to be better.


If you want to watch the full video of my conversation with Dr. Emee, you can find it here.

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