What is Impostor Syndrome? To put it as simply as possible, it is the inability to recognize and celebrate your hard work and accomplishments. Does this sound like you? Read on to find out more about impostor syndrome.
I first heard the term Impostor Syndrome about a year ago. Once I looked into it, something clicked inside me because the description checked all boxes I felt I had.
What is Impostor Syndrome?
Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.
Do I Have Impostor Syndrome?
You may suffer from Impostor Syndrome if you:
- can’t take any compliments.
- feel like you don’t deserve your success.
- feel like you don’t deserve awards or praise for you work.
- are afraid people will find out you aren’t as smart as they thought.
- believe your success is a fluke.
- have a fear that you are going to be ‘found out’ and people will realize you aren’t qualified.
If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing Impostor syndrome.
What Should I Do?
If the above points strike a chord in you, don’t worry, this just means you have work to do on your self-esteem and confidence. You can start building your self-confidence in a number of ways:
- Make a list and focus on your past accomplishments. Whether it’s academic, professional, or personal, write it down. Write them down whether you currently believe you deserve these accomplishments or not. Read through this list regularly and visualize these past successes.
- Confide in someone who you trust, someone who you can tell that you feel like a fraud and you can have an honest and open discussion with.
- Don’t compare yourself to others, this goes for both successes and failures. The only person’s accomplishments you should be concerned with, is you.
- Keep track of compliments and nice things others have said about you, and read them often. They see you in such a different light then you will see yourself.
- Speak to a therapist if you don’t have someone in your life that can help you work through this. They are professionals and they can help you deal with your emotions and thoughts.
My Experience with Impostor Syndrome
There was a light bulb that went off in my head when I found out there are a term for the feelings I was experiencing. I had a constant feeling that I was going to be ‘found out’ in most aspects of my life, from personal, to professional, to academic.
I still have these feelings regularly but they have subsided a bit since I have taken active steps to building my self-confidence and quieting that voice that constantly told me I wasn’t good enough and that I was a fraud.
As I mentioned, if you are experiencing thoughts like this, you can always reach out to a therapist for help.