IMPOSTER SYNDROME /im'päst?r 'sin?drom/
Imposter syndrome is an internal belief that you are not as skilled as others believe you to be. Simply put, it is the experience of feeling like a phony. You feel as though you’ll be exposed as a fraud at any moment, you don’t belong where you are, and you only got there by luck. Anyone can be affected, no matter their background. It is not biased when it comes to social status, education, work history, or skill level.
Common signs of imposter syndrome include:
- An inability to sensibly assess your success and skills
- Believing your success is caused by external factors
- Downplaying your performance
- Fear that you won't live up to expectations
- Overachieving to compensate
- Sabotaging your success
The problem with impostor syndrome is that even when you do well at a task, it does nothing to change your beliefs. The negative thinking, self-doubt, and self-sabotaging may affect many areas of your life. The more you accomplish, the more you feel like a fraud. To move past these feelings, you need to become comfortable confronting some of those deeply ingrained beliefs you hold about yourself.
It may feel uncomfortable at first, but try some of these techniques:
· Share your feelings by talking to someone. Irrational beliefs tend to grow when they stay hidden.
· Focus on others. If you see someone who seems uncomfortable, invite them to join you or the group. As you practice this, it will help build confidence in your own abilities.
· Assess your abilities. If you have deep-rooted beliefs about your inabilities in social and performance situations, make a realistic assessment of your skills. Write down your accomplishments and what you are good at. Then compare that with your self-assessment.
· Question your thoughts. Given everything you know, does it make sense to believe you are a fraud? As you start to assess your abilities, question whether your thoughts are rational.
Look at what you have accomplished in your life! Be mindful and try to turn those feelings of doubt into ones of gratitude. Let your guard down and let others see the real you! Don't allow irrational thoughts to hold you back. Instead, lean into them and get to their root. If you've done all these things and still feel like you're an impostor, remember it is ok to speak to a mental health professional.