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Mental Health

4 Things About Imposter Syndrome That No One Talks About

Imposter syndrome and the feeling of not being enough for others, your career, or yourself can be a crippling everyday struggle. While so many individuals are faced with the same intrusive thoughts, rare is the moment where one comes forward to acknowledge this deep seeded insecurity that defines the way we behave.

For me, majoring in International Relations and Political Science, too many times a day or week I find myself questioning my abilities and intellect as I continue to meet a diverse amount of hardworking, intelligent, and experienced students and professionals.

While I know that the successes of others will never take away from my own, I struggle seeing myself as an equal. I’ve compiled this list where I found 4 things that no one talks about when it comes to imposter syndrome.

You sometimes tend to back down in discussions when voicing your opinions

When feeling like a fraud, it is not a fully rare occurrence for me to retreat in an intellectual conversation when I fear that I am not smart enough to be a part of a conversation. While I may be firm in my stance and have a strong amount of information to back it up, the deep inner feeling of feeling that I do not belong in the same conversation will often stop me from standing my ground and voicing my opinions.

Objectively, I know I deserve to be there and be heard, but I struggle so much seeing it myself when I feel like a fraud amongst a group of talented individuals.

You pass up opportunities because you don’t feel good enough

Feeling like you are fraudulent or not enough can be a huge deterrent to our personal and professional growth. At times, I’ve found myself passing up on jobs, positions, or activities because of my insecurity.

Feeling like an imposter is not only an internal feeling, it can sometimes manifest itself into your life. If you struggle with this too, I want you to know that you are enough, and while you- and I- may not see it, YOU deserve to be a part of that job or room just as much as anyone else. 

Nothing you do to better yourself still feels like enough 

A big obstacle I am trying to overcome is the feeling that no matter how much I expand my personal, professional, and academic life, I am not doing enough to be at the level of my peers.

It does not matter that I am working full time and attending school full time while juggling volunteering, an internship, and campus involvement, my mind still believes that I am still a fraud. This sensation can be the most discouraging feeling ever, and can often lead to burn out.

While most people do not mention this, it is one of the main factors that contributes to negative mental health and life outlook. If you are struggling with this yourself, be patient as you unlearn your behaviors and allow yourself the space to grow and acknowledge that you need to rest as much as you work.

You never celebrate your accomplishments

Rather than celebrating your accomplishments, you may jump from one success straight into a next project or endeavor because you feel you need to continue bettering yourself.

In my experience, I neglect to acknowledge the successes I accomplish and instead focus too much on what I still need to do to continuing growing. In this pursuit of feeling like an equal, we often forget to be kind to ourselves and celebrate the things that we have done right.

Next time you accomplish a new goal, take a moment to revel in your success before you return to working. 

While these 4 struggles may make you feel overwhelmed, you are not alone. Myself and countless others find ourselves in the same situation. However, the truth is- we need to start being kinder to ourselves.

You deserve to be in that room, to be a part of that conversation. If you did not, you would not be a part of it in the first place.

While I still struggle with the same things, I am learning that with time, patience, and self-reflection, no insecurity can define your life. 

Sheila Martinez is a Cuban-American immigrant currently residing in Miami and attending Florida International University. She is studying International Relations and Political Science with a concentration in human rights and political transitions and is uniquely passionate about empowering women in her community. In the future, Sheila hopes to leverage her passion for representing the underprivileged through a life-long career in the public sector. Some of Sheila's hobbies include reading, going to the movies, and visiting museums.
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