Imposter syndrome: What is it and how to overcome it
Do you often fear that you are not living up to your expectations and keep berating your performance, often to the point of self-doubt and negative self-talk? If this feels relatable, you may have imposter syndrome. However, before believing you have it, consult a mental health professional. Here's the gist of what imposter syndrome is and how to cope with it.
What is imposter syndrome?
According to healthline.com, imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence, involves feelings of self-doubt and personal incompetence that persist despite your education, experience, and accomplishments. To counter these feelings, you might end up working harder and holding yourself to ever higher standards.
What it feels like to have imposter syndrome?
Despite your successes and accomplishments, you refuse to believe you earned them on your own merits. As a result, you find yourself consistently experiencing self-doubt, even in areas where you typically excel. You may feel restless and nervous, and you may often indulge in negative self-talk, always being critical of yourself. Anxiety and depression may often follow if you have imposter syndrome.
What causes imposter syndrome?
Imposter syndrome is likely to be caused by multiple factors, including personality traits such as perfectionism or neuroticism, and family upbringings such as controlling or overprotective parenting styles. The symptoms of imposter syndrome are also triggered when people are going through transitions in life and trying new things such as joining a new workplace. Even symptoms of social anxiety can fuel imposter syndrome.
The five types of imposter syndrome
The perfectionist - You believe that you're not as good as others might think you are. The natural genius - You don't believe that you are naturally competent. The soloist - You question your competence when you ask for help. The expert - You don't feel okay until you've achieved expertise. The super-person - You believe you should be the hardest worker.
Some examples of imposter syndrome
Suppose you have been promoted to a certain role, yet when people call you by your assigned title, you feel like a fraud. Since you haven't mastered that position yet, you feel like you don't deserve the promotion. Another example could be when you receive an award, and you feel your achievements aren't good enough to be deserving of recognition.
How to overcome imposter syndrome?
To cope with impostor syndrome, you need to become comfortable confronting some of the deeply ingrained beliefs you hold about yourself. It can be hard to do so since you may not even realize that you hold them. Avoid the urge to do everything yourself. Avoid comparing yourself to others - you don't have to excel in every task you undertake.