Impostor syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments and worth. They constantly fear being exposed as a “fraud” or “impostor” and they get overwhelmed with feelings of not being worthy or not belonging to the context of life they’re in.
A lot of people may start suddenly feeling like they are not intelligent enough to do what they are doing or have been doing for years. If they are successful or make a good living doing what they do best, they may feel like they’re just a fraud or easy to expose by others as an “impostor” or someone who doesn’t belong there.
They feel like they are just lucky to be where they are and that someone will find out that they’re faking it all. This feeling can create a lot of anxiety for people who have it. Also, it may be triggered by low self-worth and self-esteem and being unable to comprehend how we were able to achieve so much compared with how low or how far we’ve come.
What triggers impostor syndrome:
The most common causes for impostor syndrome are: lack of confidence, lack of experience, and social comparison. These causes can be eliminated by self-compassion and self-acceptance, as well as by getting more experience in the workplace.
In fact, the root of this problem is that people don’t recognise the magnitude of their success, or consider that their successes were due to luck. They also tend to compare themselves with other people who have achieved nothing or far less when they look like they have the same abilities as them and the same factors, qualifications or degrees.
This makes it more confusing for them and may give them the certainty that they don’t deserve whatever it is that they achieved.
4 ways to shake yourself out off your “impostor syndrome”:
Impostor syndrome is a phenomenon in which people who are highly skilled and competent experience self-doubt and worry that they will be “found out” for not being “good enough.” It can happen to anyone, from artists to scientists to athletes.
For many people, impostor syndrome goes away after a while. But for others, it’s a lifelong struggle. If you’re one of the many people who suffer from this, here are some ways you can get over it:
1- Believe in yourself:
The first step for getting over this syndrome is acknowledging that you have it and then understanding why you think this way. People with this syndrome may attribute their success to luck, timing, or other external factors.
The most important thing when it comes to getting over Imposter Syndrome is believing in yourself and understanding that you are good enough for the task at hand.
2- Focus on your strengths:
The best way to recover from impostor syndrome is to challenge your own thoughts and feelings about yourself, and focus on your accomplishments instead of your shortcomings.
It comes with feeling of being unqualified for one’s position which can lead to the person underperforming, withdrawing from their work, and avoiding challenges. That’s why you should face yourself about it and emphasis your strengths and why it is possible for you to have achieved so much.
You should always focus on positives rather than think about your weaknesses, clumsiness or how it doesn’t make sense that you would’ve succeeded so much in life.
3- Make friends with people like you:
One way to recover from impostor syndrome is to spend time with people who have similar strengths and interests, and who can help you realise that you’re not alone. The more you get closer to people that achieved as much as you, the more you see that they’re also normal human beings like yourself with nothing special or out-of-this world that justifies their success.
Another way is to identify your strengths and think about the skills that you do have, not just the ones that you have. This way you realise that there’s room for improvement and that you’re not so perfect after all. You can also try going into new situations with an attitude of openness and curiosity, rather than fear or avoidance.
The feelings of fraudulence and inadequacy may be due to the internalisation of your negative traits and flaws and refusal to comprehend how you could’ve gotten anywhere at all in life, with such weaknesses. This could lead to a lack of self-worth and confidence which can affect performance at work and in life.
That’s why by being close to people that are as successful as you if not more, and seeing that they also have major flaws or weaknesses and still made it, you will be helping yourself. But, pay close attention that this could backfire if you only find out that those people are more organise than you, smarter and more disciplined. It could in fact intensify your impostor syndrome crisis, if anything.
4- Seek professional help:
It’s important to recognize that imposter syndrome is not something you can just get over by telling yourself that you’re not an imposter. It is a common symptom of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
So just to stay safe, if it persists or create panic attacks or an identity or confusion crisis seek professional help as soon as you can. The best way to recover from it is by seeking professional help from a therapist or psychologist.
Impostor syndrome is the feeling that one is not intelligent enough, good enough, or capable enough to be doing what they are doing. It’s like an impostor who has infiltrated the system and is now pretending to be someone they are not.
If you start feeling this way, it’s important not to allow these thoughts to take roots in your mind and become consistent as it can cause a lot of self-doubt.
This may in turn cause you to fail in whatever it is that you do or distract you from your work long enough for you to ruin it all to then be convinced that you were not capable of keeping it up anyway.
This is all not true and you should try and stay positive, confident and even more ambitious in regards to what you achieved and what you aspire to achieve in the future.