What is Imposter Syndrome? Can it happen to you?
Have you heard of Imposter Syndrome – can it happen to you? Have you ever gone to work thinking you are a fraud? Are you convinced that people will guess your intentions and realize that you do not know what you are talking about? Does failure terrify you?
If this is your case, you are not the only one: the most successful people tend to be the ones who worry the most.
Imposter syndrome, sometimes called fraud syndrome, is a psychological disorder in which successful people are unable to take in their achievements. Those who have many achievements and triumphs tend to suffer; so, this condition is not compared to low self-esteem or lack of confidence. In fact, some researchers have linked it to perfectionism, especially in women. The tendency to minimize and underestimate success is significant in those with imposter syndrome.
Despite the fact that in your work life you show your ability, are you convinced that you do not deserve the success you have achieved? Do you suffer from chronic insecurity? The “impostors” reject any demonstration of success and think that it is by sheer luck, that is, being in the right place and time, or deceiving others into thinking that they are more intelligent and capable than they really are.
Imposter syndrome can negatively affect your career. If you are convinced that you are not up to the job, this can prevent you from imposing yourself or taking the necessary risks. You can become obsessed with the idea of not making a mistake instead of being proactive.
Imposter syndrome can have negative effects on students also.
- Both academic and social struggles can occur while in school: Students suffering from imposter syndrome not only struggle in class but can become socially isolated too.
- There’s potential for long-term effects beyond graduation: Students with imposter syndrome are likely to make ill-fitting career choices—and experience burnout both in college and career.
- Millennials are highly prone to imposter syndrome: As one of the biggest groups entering and navigating the current workforce, millennials are susceptible to career-related anxiety—and today’s digital-focused world might be partially to blame.
How can you overcome impostor syndrome?
There are a couple of things you can do to overcome this syndrome. Acknowledge and write down your “impostor” feelings when they arise. This will help you break the cycle of negative thoughts. It often happens that when you write them, you see these thoughts from another perspective and you can abstract from them.
Make a list of your strengths. Keeping track of your accomplishments is a good way to remind yourself that you are NOT a fraud or a phony. When you feel anxious and bad about yourself, check your list. Achievements that may not seem important to you at some point tend to gain more validity with a little time and another perspective.
Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination will only make your feelings of inadequacy worse. Tackle problems head-on and cross items off your to-do list. Tackle difficult tasks first so that once you finish them, you have a sense of accomplishment and strength.
It’s important to deal with these issues, but it can also be a good thing to have something of the impostor syndrome – you keep your humility and focus on improving your habits. Without the effects of this syndrome, you can become a megalomaniac and be convinced that you are infallible.
One Last Tip – Remember…..
It may not be easy, but impostor syndrome can be overcome – we don’t need to feel helpless or alone. The next time you find yourself in a situation that feels completely out of your comfort zone, don’t focus on your “flaws.” Focus on how this means there are new opportunities for growth and change.