There is one imposter among us.
And no, it’s not an imposter from the ‘Among Us’ game!
Imposter syndrome is something I have dealt with for most of my life. Whether it’s a grade, achievement or job, you can’t help but feel detached from everything you have done or achieved; that you don’t really deserve anything you have got in your life and that anyone could do what you do, and better.
Every time you succeed it’s just because you’ve tricked everyone else into believing you’re worth something and you got lucky, that’s all! No matter how hard you work, you can’t shake off the lack of any form of belief in yourself. Even if others try to validate you and tell you how great you are, you can’t help but think they’re only saying that because they just feel sorry for you and are trying to be nice.
Because of this, your mind is in a constant state of apprehension. You feel that any minute the jig will be up and you’ll be exposed and everyone will see you for the worthless and incompetent person you really are. These horrible and irrational thoughts can be so difficult to drown out, that after a while you begin to believe every word of it.
Sometimes even when you get some of what you’re thinking or feeling off your chest, you begin to zoom outside of yourself, becoming hyper aware of how others are perceiving you and how much of a burden your patheticness is to them. Over analyzing like this only serves to escalate your internal feelings of self-loathing of course, and the cycle repeats itself.
Studies have also shown that first generation students, particularly those studying STEM subjects, have an increased chance of experiencing ‘imposter syndrome’. Many BAME students also struggle with this. This is most likely because they can’t often see themselves represented in an academic environment and so they are made to feel like they don’t belong or deserve to occupy a space there.
It’s a problem that is actually more common than you think, but unfortunately it isn’t really talked about all that much. I am sharing my raw thoughts and vulnerable experience of it with you in hopes to help anyone who might be going through a similar thing! I’d like to let them know that they are not alone in what they feel, and although I am still struggling with feelings of being an imposter myself, I have hope that we can all overcome it and begin to see our own self worth. I would like to encourage every single person reading this right now to reflect on their life and be proud of themselves for all the things they have achieved, and to nor dismiss them. Everyone is deserving of worth and the sooner you realise that, the sooner you can apply even an ounce of the kindness that you show to other people to yourself!