Let’s Talk About Imposter Syndrome

According to Buzzfeed, Imposter Syndrome “is that feeling where— even if you get good grades, good jobs, accomplish things, have special talents, and people compliment you — you feel like you're tricking everyone and you're actually not good at anything.”

I’ve heard this term so many times, from fellow students and even professionals within UW. I feel like it’s somewhat of a set-up and that you’re expected to feel this way especially when you’ve been afforded a new journey like graduate school. BUT. I. JUST. DON’T. GET. IT.

I’ve made it more than halfway through my first quarter of graduate school and sure it’s been a little rocky, but not once have I questioned whether I belong here or not. I worked so hard to make it to this point, and I’ve challenged myself beyond measure, and I know I deserve this opportunity.

So, I ask myself, why do people feel like they have Imposter Syndrome when they are actually thriving? I think the problem is that we fear our own success. We think we should be less than great or that we don’t deserve the opportunities presented to us. But I’m here to tell you that if you’re out there hustling and being the best you can be then honey you deserve all the greatness that you’re paving. You deserve that A on the essay you worked on all night, and yes, you deserve that raise at work because you’ve been racking in extra hours.

I understand that sometimes people get awarded or acknowledged when they do the bare minimum or don’t go above and beyond to complete a task or goal, but that doesn’t mean you’re an imposter. Success can be so subjective and the levels vary from person to person.

So, the next time you’re acknowledged for doing well on something and you start to feel like an imposter, I challenge you to:

  • Change your mindset
  • Think about why you deserve said success
  • Reflect on what you think you did well
  • Accept the acknowledgement
  • Not compare yourself to anyone else

 Lastly, remember that you’re magical AF.