Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people feel like impostors or frauds, despite being highly competent. It is common among high achievers, especially such as cyber security professionals.
Even though impostor syndrome is relatively common among cybersecurity professionals, it’s important to remember that it is in every way possible to be both competent and thriving in this field. If you find yourself doubting your abilities, it may help to talk to a trusted colleague or your manager. Remember, everyone feels like an impostor sometimes, even the very successful seniors!
There are a few reasons why impostor syndrome is that common among cybersecurity experts. First, the field is relatively challenging and constantly evolving, so it’s easy to feel like you’re not an expert. Second, IT security is a highly technical field of work, so there is always more to learn. Finally, cyber security professionals are often responsible for protecting organizations from highly sophisticated attacks, so it’s often stressful work, and it’s easy to feel like you’re not really up to the task.
We are in a complex field with a lot of moving parts, and it can be challenging to understand everything. Trying to learn it all can lead to feelings of inadequacy, even among more experienced people. New technologies, threats, and attack vectors are always emerging, making it hard to stay up to date. If you don’t invest a lot of time learning or researching new techniques, you might realize you are not improving your valuable skillset.
In fact, a recent study found that nearly 60% of cybersecurity professionals feel like impostors. Many people feel like they have to be perfect. With the stakes so high, even a small mistake can feel like a failure. This can lead to a lot of anxiety and self-doubt.
If you are struggling with impostor syndrome, know that you are not alone. Here are a few tips for dealing with impostor syndrome:
Acknowledge your feelings
The first step is to acknowledge that you are feeling like an impostor. It’s normal to feel this way, and it doesn’t mean you are not good at your job.
Talk to someone
If you are struggling, talk to someone about it. Talk to a friend, colleague, or even a therapist. Just getting it off your chest can help.
Remember your successes
When you are feeling down, remember your successes. Remember the times when you have overcome challenges and achieved your goals.
Set realistic standards
Don’t expect yourself to be perfect. Set realistic standards, and don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake.
Seek out support
If you are depressed, seek out resources and support groups available for people struggling with impostor syndrome, and you will find that many people feel the same way. But with the right mindset, you can overcome impostor syndrome and be successful in cybersecurity.