Impostor syndrome in a lay language is called inferiority complex but in business, language is called imposter syndrome. It is a psychological occurrence in which people doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments. It is fear of being called out for being a fraud. While one aspect has to do with doubting your intelligence and performance another huge part is about comparing yourself with others negatively. Many people struggle with imposter syndrome while some are still trying to win the battle by overcoming it. As a student, I got transferred into med school in my second year I always felt I got there by accident. I thought I was not as smart as everyone else nor was I as organized as med students. Although I was known as a top student, they were still students that are way smarter so all I wanted to do was prove my competitiveness and potency because I had no chance to be the best among my peers. I felt extremely weird and did everything with the fear of being a failure and getting kicked out of med school. That’s what imposter syndrome does to so many it makes one underestimate the importance of a sense of belonging and the sense to be connected to other people because there is a growing sense of isolation and loneliness and disconnection. Whenever I pass my exams in med school, I’ll just say I had been lucky then realized that there was a name for those pushbacks I get from any of my achievements or greatness called the imposter syndrome. Psychologist Pauline Rose was the first to study this unwarranted sense of insecurity, since that study the same thing has been established across gender, age, race, and a huge range of occupations. It is not a disease or an abnormality and it isn’t necessarily tied to depression. I discovered that I had imposter syndrome at a writing seminar the guest speaker was talking about imposter syndrome, and it took me time to realize that I fit perfectly well in the description the user had talked about because no matter how much progress I made on my academics and life I still feel like I suck and I should give up. I know that It’s normal and lots of people have it but it is not a feeling that should be. Jennifer Lopez said, “Even though I’ve sold 70 million albums, there was feeling like I’m no good at this”. Jodie Foster said, “When I won the Oscar, I thought I was a fluke I thought everybody would find out and they’d take it back”. Most high achievers feel this way but never talk about it. It is like a secret that everyone is afraid to admit. I decided at 17 to become a writer on freelancing sites as a beginner who had only written a story on Reeds. It was a long journey I had and when I realized what imposter syndrome made my first year in med school extremely difficult because while my mates and friends had fun and had a less difficult life balancing their studies with other life activities, I just kept on studying every second with the fear that if I should stop I might start failing and get kicked out from med school and with this, I strived to pass and I still passed, It made me wonder if impostor syndrome is my driving force to achieving more or It was just wearing me out. Sometimes the feeling is so strong you are afraid to bring your works to light, to be the leader of a group, or to practice or learn something we truly desire and just settle for less.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THAT YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW STRUGGLES WITH IMPOSTER SYNDROME
Identifying imposter syndrome is the first stage of overcoming it. These are the signs that maybe you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome
<>Thinking your success must be lucky and not connected to your Hard work
<>Not believing the praise you receive
<>Feeling that you don’t deserve good things
<>Constantly blaming yourself for bad outcomes
<>Not celebrating success
<>Constantly negatively comparing yourself to others
THE 5 TYPES OF PEOPLE WITH IMPOSTER SYNDROME
Just like every other issue, there are five types of people who struggle with this
A perfectionist: This is someone who feels like everything got to be a 100% and obsesses over every little detail. They tend to beat themselves up when everything else goes right but one tiny thing didn’t go perfectly and they want to be seen as flawless all the time and are ashamed of small failures.
The expert: They feel they need to be smarter than all the people they need to know and need to know every single piece of information before doing anything or else they’ll feel incompetent. They obsess over reading and spend a lot of energy thinking about what didn’t go well.
The natural genius: The natural genius thinks that intelligence is something you are born with they believe if they got to struggle to learn something it means they are not good enough. It doesn’t matter because they can’t normalize the idea, they might be smart.
The Soloist: Someone who internalizes the idea that they should do things on their struggle with working as a team because they tend to one to focus only on the individual task.
Superman/Superwoman: These are the people who think they need to be excelling in everything in their lives at the same time. They push themselves to work harder to prove to everybody else that they aren’t a fraud. For example, if she is a working mom then she must be the best mum and volunteer at the PTA committees, working extra hard and getting all the top promotions at the same time. These are the people who tend to struggle with burnout the most.
5 WAYS THROUGH WHICH I OVERCAME IMPOSTOR SYNDROME
FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS: Feelings are just functions of your thought which could be accurate or inaccurate. One of the ways to get rid of imposter syndrome is to set your priorities right so that they are not inspired by your feelings but by a vision. In a world where we are faced with daily adversities, it is important to have defined goals to keep you pushing and end self-doubt. Increasing your self-confidence and the zeal to fulfill these goals you’ve set out and keep reassuring and genuinely deciding to focus on your goals can make you insightful to your capabilities knowing that it would be unreasonable to have doubts and knowing that you can be good enough and working towards the best. Anytime I have that crippling fear and anxiety I always say to myself that it’s in my head and I deserve everything I had because I earned it. I remember if I was not ready, I wouldn’t have the had opportunity. Whenever you think you cannot do it just know there is someone out there who is doing it wrongly confidently.
KNOWING YOU ARE NOT ALONE: There are millions of people who have had imposter syndrome in the past. I always remember that so many people have experienced imposter syndrome one way or the other and overcame it. According to the international journal of behavioral Science, around 70% of people will experience at least one episode of the imposter phenomenon. Every time static shifts to a new you and you don’t know what you are doing that doesn’t mean you are a fake it means you presumed more than your knowledge and you are going to learn and be an expert.
EVERY SUPERSTAR WAS ONCE AN IMPOSTOR LIKE YOU: It’s important to always remember the fact that every great achiever was once an impostor meaning there’s always a first time for everything and there is always a beginner stage what matters is the progress, even If you are not as qualified as others in your team remember there is someone, working so hard to even be at that position and you deserve it and gradually you’ll succeed. Writing as a beginner at first, I always had so many doubts that anyone would be interested in my works but what kept me going is that every great writer was discovered from just one beautiful piece and I deserve to be appreciated, and the more time I waste the lesser chance I have of upgrading to a higher level and its okay to make mistakes as it is all a part of the learning process.
REWARDING YOURSELF ANYTIME YOU HIT A GOAL: This is a huge step away from that feeling of self-doubt many people don’t celebrate themselves for what they’ve become instead they stress about their future accomplishments. When I passed my first tests in school, I was so shocked I felt I was out of luck. But I had people around to celebrate me at that point which made me feel worthy of my grades and it helped me through my journey. I wrote my first story on Reedsy Prompts and I wrote it for a writing competition I was participating in although I had no experience and it was my first time publishing my story online and for competition. I wrote the story with no proper knowledge of writing or editing and although I didn’t win, I got shortlisted for the top stories it was indeed a shocking experience and I decided to congratulate myself with some new books as a gift for my hard work and it helped boost my confidence in my works and I decided to bring my works to light because I could achieve everything I decide to do. You may not have people around you to celebrate you sometimes no one sends a congratulatory message always remember to celebrate yourself knowing you deserve every good thing life has given to you.
ASSOCIATING WITH TRUSTED FELLOWS, HAVING MENTORS AND FRIENDS THAT ARE GOOD IN YOUR FIELD TOO: When I started my journey as a medical student, I was like a lost sheep then I started relating with senior students who always filled me up with positivity. It helped to hear someone reassure you that the journey you are about to begin about not alone and you would surely go through it smoothly so you need to subdue the feeling of doubt and not pull it out every time things get out of hand because it is normal to make mistakes and it is okay for everything to not be perfect as we want.
Another thing that helped with reading inspirational books from the world’s best authors (To get good books and books recommendation you could message me at [email protected]). Getting rid of the imposter syndrome is very important because it affects how you are connected to people. If are a soloist for instance you might struggle to work in teams and with different groups of people and it could cost you your job and affect the way people address you. You must accept yourself and be confident in what you know and feel you can work exceptionally even if you work with people that have more work experience than you. Imposter syndrome has affected previous relationships you might ask HOW? I was a person who didn’t believe in anything and thought my whole life I have been lucky so being in a relationship than when I get treated poorly or being told some insecurities I often let it go without knowing my worth I allowed my partners to step all over me because I didn’t feel like I deserved something more. I forgot that everything I had and I have become was all my hard work and I almost let someone else define me by what I have not achieved. Therefore, I emphasize getting rid of it before it gets rid of you. You are what you want and you can choose how to feel about yourself.
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