Many of us have accomplished one achievement or another in our lifetime. Whether you won a competition or bagged that dream job, it’s not uncommon to feel like you didn’t deserve it. Many people have this nagging feeling where they believe their achievements aren’t because of their innate abilities but some stroke of luck.
If that sounds like you, too, you might be experiencing Impostor’s Syndrome. No, it’s not a made-up term but an actual psychological pattern. More on that later. Join us as we delve into Impostor Syndrome, its impact on your personal life, and strategies to defend yourself against it.
What You Need to Know About Impostor’s Syndrome
Impostor Syndrome isn’t something to take lightly; in fact, think of it as an actual psychological phenomenon, an outsider attacking your thoughts.
Impostor Syndrome pulls you into a train of thoughts that makes you question every personal achievement. Not just that, but individuals start feeling incompetent, and despite evidence of their accomplishments, they constantly fear being outed as a fraud. In other words, it has the victim thinking that their success is a result of external factors rather than their own abilities and hard work.
As a result, these individuals don’t just discount their skills as a factor for their accomplishments but also fear that people will find out their achievements aren’t their own, according to their thoughts.
What are the Consequences of Impostor’s Syndrome?
Impostor’s Syndrome may sound harmless, but it can severely affect your well-being and personal growth. Here are a few symptoms that persist in people suffering from Impostor’s Syndrome:
- Anxiety and Stress: Impostor Syndrome has you in a constant state of fear of being exposed as a failure. When you’re under strain all the time, you’ll start feeling heightened levels of emotional and psychological pressure, leading to anxiety and stress. Moreover, you’ll be exhausted after some time, reducing overall well-being.
- Self-Sabotaging Behaviors: Impostor’s Syndrome can make you believe you’re never meant for success. Taking forward, they engage in self-sabotaging behaviors, intentionally or unintentionally, that push them back from their true potential.
- Excessive Criticism and Perfectionism: Impostor’s Syndrome fuels a tendency towards consistently self-criticizing your actions and progress. Simultaneously, you’ll be concerned with perfectionism, thus, creating unrealistic expectations from yourself and beating yourself up for never being “good enough.”
Addressing Your Impostor’s Syndrome
Working on impostor syndrome takes time and effort. Another thing that helps you get on the right path is taking practical advice from experts.
As someone who’s been through numerous hurdles in life, Kristina Mand-Lakhiani compiles her lifelong learnings and the art of self-acceptance and self-compassion in her book, “Becoming Flawesome.” In this book, you’ll dive into identifying your impostor’s syndrome and powerful insights to combat it, including acknowledging your worth and achievements, reframing negative self-perceptions, and knowing the track to #BecomingFlawesome, i.e., your flaws, making you awesome.
For now, these tips can help you get a headstart into actively healing through Impostor’s Syndrome:
- Know the Signs: First things first, you need to know you’re falling into the pits of Impostor’s Syndrome. The most common signs include self-doubt, fear of failure, and attributing your success to external factors. Moreover, the said individual can’t praise themselves for their success. Victims may also drive by the constant need for validation from others.
- Embracing Self-Compassion: The primary strategy against impostor’s syndrome is cultivating self-compassion for yourself. To get there, you need to start releasing unrealistic expectations, internalizing your success, and being confident in your abilities. All this is a part of your personal and professional growth, including your flaws and mistakes.
- Building a Supportive Network: Unrealistic expectations and surrounding yourself with people always sitting on the high horses of success can make you feel like you don’t belong. Therefore, it’s essential to have a supportive network, which can include mentors, colleagues, family, and friends. Get feedback from them regularly on your progress to gain external opinions that counteract your self-doubt.
- Owning Your Success: Lastly, change the narrative! Let go of those negative thoughts that make you believe your success isn’t because of you. Reframe your mindset to recognize your achievements. Some methods include keeping a record of your achievements, maintaining a gratitude journal, and openly reflecting on your successes.
While overcoming Impostor’s Syndrome is challenging, it’s not impossible. Knowing that your Impostor’s Syndrome is an illusion keeping you from maximizing opportunities and your progress is important. However, you’re not alone in this. Use these strategies and read through the book for details.