Imposter syndrome comes in many forms. Maybe you’re unsure of how to begin a new project, so you procrastinate on getting started. Perhaps you’re worried about the tone of an email you wrote to your boss, so you delete the whole thing. Some people compare themselves to others because they feel like they must be the best. Imposter syndrome is any nagging doubt of our abilities. It can rob you of your joy if you’re not careful.
What is Imposter Syndrome?
Imposter syndrome refers to the phenomenon of high-achieving people who are unable to recognize their own success. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, since they’re quick to attribute any success to luck instead of their own hard work. Imposter syndrome isn’t all that rare, either – one study found that 70 percent of people report experiencing at least one instance of it throughout their lifetime. Those who identify as LGBTQ+, people of color, and first-generation college grads are disproportionately affected by imposter syndrome.
Signs of imposter syndrome may include:
Strategies to Combat Imposter Syndrome
While it might seem counterintuitive, the best way to overcome imposter syndrome is to talk about it. Voicing your fears aloud can take away some of their power. The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety about your shortcomings, try talking with a trusted confidant. They can help provide a reality check and share their own experiences with imposter syndrome. By being vulnerable, you open yourself up to real, authentic support.
Of course, it can be scary to open up about fears of failure. Speaking to an unbiased professional in a judgement-free space can be incredibly therapeutic. A therapist can help individuals work through negative self-talk and develop tools to challenge self-defeating behaviors. In this kind of supportive environment, you can free yourself from anxiety and self-doubt.