There are a large percentage of people, most of whom are considered extremely successful, that believe they are fooling people. These people believe their talents are not as developed as others believe them to be. They also believe that someday, people will see them for what they truly are: a lucky fraud, undeserving of any of their accomplishments. These people suffer from Imposter Syndrome.
Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome
The overarching symptom can be identified if you answer “yes” to the following question: Do you feel like a fraud or an imposter? If you need more indicators, a few manifestations of Imposter Syndrome include:
- Searching for external validation, even from people who would not enhance your self-perception.
- Considering co-workers and peers more worthy and talented than you.
- Downplaying your accomplishments in conversations.
- Attributing your successes to luck rather than quality work.
- Refusal to apply for jobs or promotions that require you to expand upon your successes.
- Looking at your failures as personal deficits.
Methods for Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Even the most successful people in the world have secretly believed, at one time or another, that they are not good at their job.
One study on Imposter Syndrome estimated “that 70 percent of people will experience at least one episode of this impostor phenomenon in their lives.”
When you want to relieve the burden of perceived fraud, remember these points.
You Had and Still Have a Role in Your Own Success
There is a tendency in those who feel like frauds to be able to successfully and consistently internalize their successes. This is especially true when an opportunity arose which someone made the best of. When an opportunity is provided to someone susceptible to Imposter Syndrome, he/she feels that nothing achieved after the opportunity is deserved. But someone had to say “yes” to the opportunity instead of “no.”
There Is a Good Chance Few People Really Know What They Are Doing
The world we live in is the result of a lot of brave people tinkering, failing, and succeeding once in a while. No one knows what’s next: some are willing to take risks in the face of uncertainty, and some aren’t. You’re not an impostor for trying something that might not work.
Stop Comparing Yourself to the Person That Seems to Have It All
Comparing yourself to the greatest people of all time, or even the company’s greatest employee, is a losing proposition. You will never stack up. All you can do is compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Are you a better person today?
Focus on Your Value, Not Your Proximity to Perfection
Giving your best is not being the best. Also, there is a major difference between bettering yourself and being better than everyone else. To beat Imposter Syndrome, there is a requirement of self-acceptance. You do not have to be perfect, or the best, to be successful.
If you lack a proper balance of positive feedback from others, guess what? You need to provide yourself with positive feedback. Write a list of all the things you are proud of. List your skills. List your passions. You are very likely better at the things you list than the average person.
Spend Time with Uplifting People
Surround yourself with those who can identify when you are in the dumps, as well as those who know how to pull you from the dumps. Distance yourself from those who consistently remind you of your flaws.
The Silver Lining to Imposter Syndrome
Evidence suggests that feeling like a fraud correlates with success. It is more likely that people who lack this feeling of fraud, may be the true frauds. This is because Imposter Syndrome is related to perfectionism. Imposters want to excel in all they do. So if you feel you have a bit of Imposter Syndrome, smile to yourself and remember you are likely achieving good things.