Updated: Sep 28, 2022
It dawned on me that the only difference between people who live with impostor syndrome and those who don’t is how they think.
Imagine going to school for six plus years to earn a doctoral degree to become an Astrophysicists then saying “Anyone can earn this degree.”
Believe it or not this is the reality of having impostor syndrome.
And as an overachiever, I constantly feel a need to prove myself. Even after earning my degree early and getting accepted into a top masters program I had feelings of shame.
I felt ashamed about things that I had not given myself time to achieve.
And I didn’t give myself enough credit for all my accomplishments and experiences that I did have.
It is important to mention that these feelings of fraud and shame are not uncommon and there is no quick fix for it. With this in mind, it is not surprising that impostor syndrome is a condition that affects 70 percent of Americans.
What Is Impostor Syndrome?
Impostor syndrome is a phenomena in which people find it difficult to internalize their accomplishments, skills, and experiences and are constantly in fear of being exposed as a fraud.
People who live with impostor syndrome often attribute their successes to luck or key relationships and overwork to compensate for their perceived lack of ability.
Ironically, these people are often not the frauds they think they are and have the ability to be high achievers who excel in whatever they put their mind to.
But impostor syndrome is often so crippling that it can show up in many aspects of life, even for me.
I found myself flying under the radar in difficult situations where I felt uncomfortable raising my hand in team meetings and thought my opinion didn’t matter or I wasn’t smart enough to comment.
For others this may look like not asking for a promotion you deserve or procrastinating on a major project, self-sabotaging, and becoming a work alcoholic.
But all is not lost, there are some helpful ways to combat impostor syndrome and break the cycle of negative thinking.
Three Ways To Combat Imposter Syndrome
Reframe The Conversation We Have With Ourselves