Have you ever disregarded your achievements in life and considered yourself as someone who is at a certain position in life due to sheer dumb luck? Have you always thought the same about yourself throughout your life? Most of us are just down to earth like that and often attribute our success in life (be it any field) to luck or a divine source. However, if you’ve considered yourself as a fraud while thinking about how you never deserved anything that you’ve achieved, it might be an indication of the impostor syndrome!
Symptoms and Signs
Impostor syndrome is a pattern of psychological aspects in which one is doubtful of their achievements and thus possesses a persistent internalized dread of being exposed as a fraud. Regardless of external evidence of their proficiency, those who experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and don’t deserve all they have achieved.
Individuals with impostor syndrome persistently attribute their success to luck, or incorrectly interpret it as a result of deceiving or misleading others into thinking that they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be.
Even though prior researches focused on the prevalence of this syndrome among high-achieving women only, impostor syndrome has now been acknowledged to affect all genders equally. Moreover, the definition assigned to this syndrome is usually narrowly applied to IQ and achievement; it has links to perfectionism and the social context as well.
Is It the Chase of Perfectionism?
The answer is yes! Individuals experiencing this syndrome are unable to internalize their accomplishments no matter how prosperous they are in their field. The people who are most susceptible to this syndrome are high achievers and highly successful individuals, to some extent implying that imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with lack of self-confidence. In fact, higher self-esteem and confidence has gotten them where they are. However, according to research it is linked with perfectionism, especially in women and among academics.
Where Does It Stem From?
Most often the syndrome has deep been rooted since childhood. When parents keep expecting more and more from the child the achievements of the child remain under appreciated, that is when the start developing the tendency for this syndrome. Even researches suggest that it stems from the labels parents attach to that particular child.
Another theory could be that it is programmed into the minds of individuals who have spent time with people who suffer from a superiority complex. According to this theory, individuals who suffered from superiority complex may have reinforced the idea of how inefficient and incompetent the other person has been their whole lives, thus pushing the individual into believing that they do not deserve the success they have received.
Perhaps the most restraining part of dealing with this syndrome is that it can restrict our courage and ability to go after new prospects or opportunities and explore prospective areas of interest.
Beat Your Impostor Syndrome
1. Break the Silence and Enlighten Yourself:
Speak up about the way you feel, sharing with the right people can help you explore that you have a name for your feelings. By assigning this name to your feelings you are more aware of what is happening and it helps in gaining a perspective.
2. Differentiate Between Facts and Feelings:
We all can feel low at any given point, but the important thing is to set the facts separate from how we feel in the moment. The fact is that if we have achieved something and if we are successful it is because we have worked hard or worked smart. Either ways, we deserved it. There’s a reason for everything and nothing happens pointlessly.
3. Find the Fine Line Between Being Fraudulent and Self-Doubt:
Don’t mistake your self-doubt for ineptness, be confident and believe in yourself. Being honest to yourself will help you recognize the fine line between the two.
4. Hard Work Over Perfectionism:
Work hard but also don’t obsess over perfectionism. Maintain a healthy drive to excel but know that hard work will always pay off and not everything has to be absolutely perfect.
5. Develop Your Own Script and Reward Yourself:
Change the way that you’ve been conditioned to think. Tell yourself it is ok to not know everything every time and that humans make mistakes. Give yourself a verbal pat on the back every time you’ve achieved something. Verbalize your achievement and tell yourself that you achieved it because you’ve worked hard.