The Beginner’s Guide to Imposter Syndrome

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Do you feel like your a fraud even though you’ve accomplished a lot? Do those certificates really mean that you know enough to do your job and do it well? Doubtful about your skills even when people validate you? Maybe you have Imposter Syndrome.

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What is Imposter Syndrome?

Imposter Syndrome is almost what it sounds like except maybe a little different then what you are thinking. No, it’s not being an imposter. It is feeling like one even when you have all the accolades and qualifications to prove yourself. Yes, there is a name for that.

Imposter Syndrome is self-doubt or insecurity that makes you down-play all your accomplishments. And it’s not just because you are being humble, it’s because that’s how you actually feel, somewhat fake. Maybe that will help when they find out that you don’t actually know anything and those certifications were probably just due to luck.

Who suffers from imposter syndrome?

Numerous amounts of people suffer from imposter syndrome. Some people you admire probably suffer from imposter syndrome. It is a condition of any type a person. It does not discriminate.

What are the symptoms of Imposter Syndrome?

  • Self-doubt
  • Avoiding extra responsibilities due to a fear of failing
  • Thinking all success is due to luck or some serendipitous force of nature
  • Self-sabotage
  • Setting extremely challenging goals that may not even be achievable due to fear of failure

Does that sound familiar? Sure does for me. But wait, there’s more. I haven’t even shown you all the types yet. I’m ashamed because this list is me.

What are the types of Imposter Syndrome?

The Expert has the need to be…Well, an expert. They will not rest until they feel that they know all they need to know. Doesn’t sound bad, right? Well, these are the people who will not apply to a job unless they meet all the requirements. We all know that severely limits your job prospects. It also slows you down when it comes to getting things done.

The Perfectionist. Yes, the perfectionist feels like an imposter too! Who would have thought? Perfectionists rarely achieve satisfaction due to their focus on what they should have done better rather than what they did right. There is so much anxiety and doubt that it creates a higher probability of failure rather than the success and perfection that they chase.

The Natural Genius. What would a natural genius not be able to do? Well, it is what they cannot do that causes their problems. When they cannot grasp things right away, they feel ashamed and weak.

The Soloist works alone and will turn down help in order to prove their worth as an individual. This may be me but, I’m feeling a little bit of everything right now.

The Superhero tries to excel in every area and works hard to do so but, that can very easily lead to burn-out. They push themselves too hard. Workaholics usually fall into this category.

How do we deal with Imposter Syndrome?

Get out of your head? Well, it sounds easier than it actually is. Once you live in your head, it is very easy to get trapped in there with all the doubt clouding your way out. Here are some tips that I have gathered to help you stay ahead of that pesky imposter syndrome:

  • Look at you already succeeding at the first step. Getting educated.
  • Talk about it. You’ll be surprised about who has had Imposter Syndrome around you.
  • Start pointing out what you did right instead of what you did wrong.
  • Accept that there is no such thing as perfect.
  • Challenge negative thoughts.

Imposter Syndrome may sound like everyday you.

If you are the poster child for Imposter Syndrome, right now, that’s okay. I think a lot of us have those moments or even years where we feel fake especially in the beginning of a job or while at school. We just need to remember that there are not such things as perfect people. Flaws are a normal part of life. As much as we may love to be good at everything or get everything on the first try, that is not realistic. It is okay to fail. Failing is not a bad thing but we assume that the opposite of success must be negative. Redefine failure to mean something else. Challenge the negative thoughts. You are not a fake. Someone certified you because you displayed knowledge and expertise. They were not wrong in their judgment and it was not just luck.

Thank you for reading my rant,

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Happy New Year’s Eve! Like this post, if you enjoyed today’s post. Follow my blog. Comment below. What type of Imposter Syndrome are you? When did you realize you had imposter syndrome?

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Shika Tamaklo is a pharmacy student attending Mercer University. She is a college lifestyle blogger who writes on fitness, health, student life struggles and, occasionally dabbles in creative writing.

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