Do you ever feel like a fraud? Like you’re not really qualified for the job and that someone is going to find out sooner or later? If so, you might be experiencing impostor syndrome.
Impostor syndrome is a feeling of self-doubt and insecurity that affects many people – even those who are highly successful.
In this blog post, I will discuss what impostor syndrome is, the signs and symptoms, and how to cope with it.
Impostor syndrome is a condition where people feel like they are not good enough or qualified for their job, despite having evidence to the contrary. It can be caused by a number of different things, such as perfectionism or social comparison.
People who suffer from impostor syndrome often feel like they are frauds and that they are going to be exposed as such. They may also have a constant fear of failure, and may avoid taking risks or challenging tasks for fear of being revealed as a fraud.
There can be a number of different causes of impostor syndrome.
Some common causes include:
Perfectionism: People who are perfectionists may feel like they are never good enough, and that they always have to be perfect. This can lead to a feeling of self-doubt and insecurity.
Social Comparison: When we compare ourselves to others, we may feel like we are not good enough or that we don’t measure up.
Unrealistic Standards: If we have unrealistic standards for ourselves, then it is inevitable that we will feel like we are not good enough. We may feel like we have to be perfect in order to be successful.
Upbringing: Our parents and family members can play a role in how we view ourselves and our abilities. If we are constantly told that we are not good enough, then there’s a good chance we will become insecure and doubt ourselves.
You may have grown up in a family that highly valued success and had parents who alternated between lavish praises and harsh criticism. According to studies, those from families with a lot of conflict but little support are more prone to feel like imposters.
It has also been found that people are more prone to suffering from impostor syndrome during phases of transition. Starting a new job might make you doubt yourself. Similarly, starting college or university could also leave you feeling as though you don’t belong and aren’t quite good enough.
There are three different types of impostor syndrome: the perfectionist, the over-achiever, and the expert.
The perfectionist is someone who has extremely high standards for themselves and their work. They often feel like they can never do anything perfectly, and that any mistakes they make are a sign of their own inadequacy.
The over-achiever is someone who believes they have to constantly be doing more in order to be successful. They may take on too many tasks or responsibilities, and often feel like they are not doing enough.
The expert is someone thinks they need to know everything in order to be successful. They may avoid asking for help, and may feel like they are the only ones who can do their job correctly.
What can you do if you are struggling with impostor syndrome?
There are a number of helpful coping mechanisms that you can use to deal with impostor syndrome. These include:
Challenging your negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself. If your inner voice is constantly putting you down, the time has come for you to push back. Write down your negative thoughts, and then challenge them. Are they really true? Do you have evidence to back them up?
Focus on your successes, not your failures. It is important to remember that everyone makes mistakes and that imperfection is part of being human.. What matters is how you learn from those mistakes and move forward.
Make it a point to acknowledge your hard work and the progress that you have achieved and stop focusing on how far you still have to go.
Stop comparing yourself to others. We are all on our own journey, and we all have different strengths and weaknesses. Comparing yourself to others is only going to make you feel worse about yourself.
Nobody gets it perfect first time round. Remind yourself that even the most successful people have made mistakes and had to learn from them.
Learn how to accept compliments graciously and without feeling like you are being fake or boastful.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing everything you see on social media. Remember that people only share the highlight reel of their lives, and that everyone has struggles and insecurities, even if they don’t share them online.
Seek out support from family and friends. Talk to someone you trust who will understand what you are going through and can offer helpful advice. You might be surprised to discover that you are not the only person struggling with feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
Take a stand against impostor syndrome and refuse to let it hold you back from achieving your goals. You are capable and you are qualified. Remember that the next time you start to doubt yourself.
If you are finding it difficult to cope with impostor syndrome on your own, professional help may be necessary. A therapist can help you to understand and manage your thoughts and feelings, and provide practical advice and strategies for dealing with impostor syndrome.
Remember that everyone struggles with self-doubt at times. Impostor syndrome is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that you are human.