Dealing With Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever feel like you’re the most incompetent person in the room, like you just aren’t good enough, or like someone else has it better than you? Do you ever feel unworthy? What you may be experiencing is valid and is known as “Imposter Syndrome.” Imposter Syndrome refers to a collection of doubts that persist despite success or other great things that may be happening in your life. You attribute your success to external factors—such as luck, for instance—doubting if the evaluator at a competition made a mistake in awarding you a prize just because other people weren’t smart enough – which is why you assume you probably won (https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome). In reality, you won due to your hard work and your awesome work ethic. This syndrome can also be linked to an overwhelming sense of perfectionism.

 

There are various ways to overcome this problem that can have a huge effect on your internal sense of accomplishment. To start off, always remember to visualize your success. For example, before starting a presentation, remember the outcome: a loud applause, followed by your professor complimenting you on your excellent delivery of the topic. Or visualize yourself winning the title of “Employee of the Month,” or achieving some other goal that you have envisioned for yourself. By visualizing yourself accomplishing these goals, you are already half-way there because you have the right mindset! So many of us feel incompetent, or think that we aren’t worthy enough, but it is important to always take a chance and to never assume that you cannot accomplish something. 

 

You should also remember to view failure positively. Perhaps you failed an exam or didn’t meet your academic expectations. You might’ve been told that you’re a different person by your friends after failing to engage with them or being unable to hangout. You might be overwhelmed and, by seeing other students excelling around you, you might feel more insecure. Take a deep breath. All of this will pass and is only temporary. You might be failing at one thing, but excelling at several other things. View your failure as a positive element, one that will add to your growth. You now know ways to improve and what not to do. You are now mentally equipped with the right tools to charge at your problem. View a bad grade that way, instead of assuming that your professional and career goals will never be accomplished.

 

Lastly, you should not compare yourself to others. We all have this toxic tendency to view so-and-so’s success and a new job at Facebook or Google with envy. It is important to remember that so-and-so probably worked very hard to intern at these prestigious technological companies. This did not just happen overnight. Your success is also not going to happen overnight. Remember that your grind is on-going. You have to keep on putting one foot after the other, and respecting the journey. Make the most out of each day because with each step you too are reaching your bright future and are closer to accomplishing your career goal. 

 

I hope this helps! For more resources to learn about Imposter Syndrome and ways to help yourself check out: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/real-women/201809/the-reality-imposter-syndrome

https://www.grad.ubc.ca/about-us/newsletter/feeling-fraud-imposter-syndrome-graduate-school

 

PS: In case no one has told you this in a while (or today), you ARE competent. You WILL make it. I believe in you and appreciate you.