What Is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome happens to everyone at some point in their lives. In fact, Forbes claims that around 70% of people experience imposter syndrome. If you just started a new job, moved to a new country, or joined a new group, you’re susceptible to imposter syndrome. You may also find yourself suddenly developing imposter syndrome after a long time in a job position or relationship dynamic.
How to Deal with Imposter Syndrome
The important thing is to work towards taming the narrative that has you believing you’re an imposter and write a more accurate story about who you are and what you’re capable of. You are exactly where you need to be and earned your spot. While this is easier said than done, it is possible to get to this ideal stage and enjoy your accomplishments from a place of true confidence.
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What Is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome usually involves doubting yourself and thinking that you don’t belong and don’t deserve to be in your current position. It can be described as a struggle to rectify how others perceive you and how you perceive yourself.
The underlying sentiment of imposter syndrome is the false fear of eventually “being caught” – you fear that others will find out that you’re a fraud and don’t deserve the position you’re in or that it will all somehow disappear or change drastically in a moment. When this happens, perfectionism becomes your goal, but you never seem to be able to achieve it – at least not to the extent that you think others would accept.
Imposter syndrome often occurs amongst people who are high achievers and can’t come to terms with their success. As a result, they believe that they do not deserve everything that comes to them and brush it off as luck or coincidence and have intense feelings of inadequacy.
When people ask, “What is imposter syndrome?” high-achieving women in the workplace are usually the first example brought up. While the early research on imposter syndrome mainly focused on successful women in the workplace and the overall public sphere, it’s now accepted that any successful person can experience imposter syndrome at some point, including men, at any point in their careers.
People with imposter syndrome often exhibit negative self-talk and tell themselves things like:
- “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
- “I don’t belong here.”
- “Someone will eventually find out that I’m a fraud.”
What Causes Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome happens in many ways, and identifying the cause helps you overcome it.
Here are a few common causes of imposter syndrome:
- The pressure experienced from parents during childhood
- Inherent personality traits
- Big and sudden changes
- Mental health symptoms
- Stressful environments
Impact of Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome can have several negative effects on how you work and live your life overall. You may hold yourself up to higher standards than your colleagues as you think you have more to prove than they do, which can be dangerous to your self-esteem. You may even start doubting yourself more and more in other parts of your life.
You may feel the need to overcompensate. You might think you need to work harder than your counterparts to compensate for your perceived shortcomings. As a result, you create more stress for yourself, which may eventually, and ironically, impact your performance.
More importantly, imposter syndrome may impact your health and emotional well-being. This can manifest itself in the form of:
- Mental block
- Self-limiting beliefs
The good news is that imposter syndrome is something that you can work towards overcoming!
Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
There are no magic words that will immediately bring you out of your imposter syndrome. But there are steps you can take towards moving past imposter syndrome and make you feel a sense of belonging in your environment.
Getting an outside perspective from someone you trust helps you understand why you are feeling this way. When you figure out the root of the problem, it’s easier to solve it.
What’s more, building connections with those who you suspect think you’re a fraud could help ease any intense feelings of inadequacy. Ask them for support when you need it, and allow yourself to accept any praise they give you. If you’re comfortable, you can even share your feelings of imposter syndrome and negative thoughts with them. You may be surprised to find how many others are experiencing the same imposter feelings and find comfort as well as confidence in your shared experiences.
Consulting an imposter syndrome coach will give you even more insight into how you are feeling and empower you to accept that you belong and achieve greater professional development. At 1428 Transformations, we help you become the best version of yourself and guide you past negative self-talk towards owning your achievements as your own to maximize your potential.
Start Your Journey of Belonging
Get rid of the imposter phenomenon for good and live up to your full potential with the help of 1428 Transformations. Book your free introductory call today to get started. If you’re ready to change, we’re here to help.