How to deal with Imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome, what is it and what can you do about it?

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What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is that uncomfortable feeling you experience when you think you’re unqualified and incompetent. You might assume everyone knows what they’re doing except you and that you should not be there. Maybe you have just been lucky?

Studies have shown that up to 70% of people have experienced Imposter Syndrome during their life. It is not classified as a mental health issue, and people effected either don’t know it is a thing, or feel unworthy or undeserving of any help.

What can I do about it?

Recognising the condition is half way to dealing with it.

Some feel as if they are wearing a mask. For the majority of us, that is true, but not why you think.

Humans are social animals and will only ‘open up’ to those they trust.

The imposter syndrome mask is slightly different. It is not real. It is the perception that everyone else thinks I am good at this stuff, but they don’t know the real me.

The truth is, everyone else can see your true value and may not see the inner turmoil or self doubt.

Whilst I believe that luck does play a part in where we are in life, you are also competing for your position and simply would not be where you are if you did not truly deserve it.

In individuals with impostor phenomenon, feelings of guilt often result in a fear of success. The following are examples of common notions that lead to feelings of guilt and reinforce the phenomenon.

  • The good education they were able to receive
  • Being acknowledged by others for success
  • Belief that it is not right or fair to be in a better situation than a friend or loved one
  • Being referred to as:12
    • “The smart one”
    • “The talented one”
    • “The responsible one”
    • “The sensitive one”
    • “The good one”
    • “Our favorite”

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

One does not simply acknowledge that other experience Imposter Syndrome. You should re-frame common thoughts and ideas about performance. An example would be to change: “I might fail this exam” to “I will do well on this exam”

Researchers concluded that simply extracting the self-doubt before an event occurs helps eliminate feelings of impostorism. It was recommended that the individuals struggling with this experience seek support from friends and family. Although impostor phenomenon is not a pathological condition, it is a distorted system of belief about oneself that can have a powerful negative impact on an individual’s valuation of their own worth.

For more details you can read more on Wikipedia

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