"I still have a little impostor syndrome...It doesn't go away, that feeling that you shouldn't take me that seriously. What do I know? I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is."
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Do You ever find yourself dismissing your achievements as mere luck? Do you sometimes secretly fear that you'll be exposed as a fraud, despite evidence to the contrary? If so, you might be experiencing what's commonly known as "Imposter Syndrome."
Imposter Syndrome is characterized by persistent feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and the fear of being discovered as underserving of one's accomplishments. Despite being validated by others, individuals often grapple with acknowledgement of their own skills and efforts, often attributing them to external factors.
The Many Faces of Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome can show up in many forms. Do one or more of the following
seem true for you?
The Perfectionist establishes extraordinarily demanding standards for themselves and frequently interprets even minor errors as evidence of their inadequacy.
The Expert believes they must possess comprehensive knowledge of a subject before deeming themselves truly informed. This mindset can result in anxiety, frustration, and the abandonment of their aspirations.
The Soloist perceives seeking assistance as a vulnerability, which ultimately leads to isolation and grappling with overwhelming challenges in solitude.
The Natural Genius
The Natural Genius holds the belief that they can rely solely on their innate abilities, requiring minimal effort. Often possessing a high IQ, they've rarely faced significant challenges in the past, and they experience anxiety when tasks demand extra effort; which they believe shouldn't be necessary.
"Now when I receive recognition for my acting, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I tend to turn in on myself. I feel like an imposter. Any moment, someone's going to find out I'm a total fraud, and that I don't deserve any of what I've achiever."
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
The journey to overcoming Imposter Syndrome involves cultivating a positive self-perception and a more realistic mindset. Below are a few tips to get you started.
Self-Awareness: Recognize when imposter thoughts arise and call them out for what they are. For example, if someone acknowledges you for something you've accomplished, notice if you try to downplay it.
Talk About It: Open up to friends, mentors, or colleagues about your feeling of self-doubt. You'll likely discover that others feel the same way, too.
Celebrate Successes: Acknowledge your achievements no matter how big or small. At the end of each day, make a point of articulating or writing down those successes. Each night when you go to bed, acknowledge three positive accomplishments you had during that day, even the tiny ones.
Set Realistic Goals: Aim for excellence, but understand that perfection is unattainable. Focus on steady progress rather than flawless outcomes. Expect to make mistakes as you learn and grow.
Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer a friend. And, don't be afraid to ask for help.
"You've always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it yourself."
-Glinda the Good Witch