I came across this term last year, I think. If I’m honest, I’ve never heard of it before coming across the post that referenced it and I just ignored it. I then saw someone on Twitter explaining how imposter syndrome has kept them back from fulfilling their potential and I started to do some research.
Turns out, I have had my fair share of imposter syndrome.
WHAT IS IMPOSTER SYNDROME?
Imposter syndrome is defined as not believing you are as competent / able as others believe or perceive you to be. Its basically an internal belief that you have about yourself that tells you, you are not good enough. Imposter syndrome relates to your intelligence, achievements, perfectionism and social context.
One definition defines IS as you feeling like a fraud within a certain context you find yourself in; whether it be in your job or social circle.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
When I read these various definitions and explanations about IS, I realized that this is something that I have been struggling with. It seems the reason for my lack of content of late could be attributed to me feeling as if my writing is not good enough. I always see other bloggers and I see their content and always ask myself, “What am I doing?”
I always hesitate when I am writing or when I get to the point where I have to hit publish because I don’t feel as if I deserve to be published or I don’t deserve that my work be read. Many people have complimented my work and have told me how they have been inspired by what I write and even though I’ve been published on several platforms, I still don’t believe I am good enough.
There are so many times when I thought to myself that I am a fraud or a phony when it comes to being a writer. This thought or belief I’ve had and sometimes still have about myself has held me back for so long and caused me to miss so many opportunities. I realised recently that because of this fear or belief I have that I am not good enough, I have been slacking on my writing and my ability to push out content has wavered.
CHARACTERISTICS OF IMPOSTER SYNDROME
An article by Arlin Cuncic on verywellmind.com lists the following traits of IS:
– An inability to assess your competence or skills
– Attributing your success to outside factors eg luck
– Berating your performance
– Fearing that you won’t live up to expectations
– Sabotaging your own success
– Setting difficult and challenging goals and feeling disappointed when you don’t achieve it
Imposter syndrome is such a deep poison within in your thought patterns that you start believing you can’t do the things you are certainly capable of doing. Things that you are actually an expert in. You start doubting yourself so much that you block yourself from even trying. You end up doing the bare minimum because you tell yourself, “Why should I even try if I’m going to fail anyway?”
Imposter syndrome is an internalized fear that you cannot do what you are skilled and qualified to do.
WAYS TO GET OUT OF IMPOSTER SYNDROME
- Talk about what you’re feeling to someone you trust.
- Understand the difference between feelings and fact.
- Work on emphasizing the positives.
- Develop a healthy way to deal with failure.
- Visualise your success
- Speak more positively to yourself.
- Reward yourself.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Understand that you can’t be perfect.
- Say yes to opportunities.
If you want more practical ways of getting over imposter syndrome, check out the TEDTalk by Valerie Young below: