Impostor syndrome is a concept that one’s success is a product of luck, coincidence, people’s wrong perceptions, or accidental circumstances. Success is not a result of hard work, dedication, education, or talent.
People who are perfectionists or workaholics may suffer from this syndrome. Those who always avoid seeking help or who behave too subserviently may feel they are impostors, undeserving of success.
If you suspect you have an impostor syndrome, there are a few things you can do to help yourself overcome it.
Accept Your Problem and Change Your Perspective
First, be aware and acknowledge you have a problem. This is a huge step toward resolving it.
Next, you may need to change the way you approach challenges. Learn how to tell whether criticism you receive is constructive or merely toxic. This way, you can wisely choose whether to listen or move on.
Realize that uncertainty and not knowing how to do something is part of any learning process. Everyone experiences these challenges. These are not the signs of inadequacy, unprofessionalism, or fraud.
Share Your Feelings
Talk to people about how you feel. Choose those who are able to give you some good feedback. A mentor or a supervisor, for instance, can give you an objective insight on your strengths, weaknesses, and abilities when it comes to work. Knowing these can lessen feelings of being a phony.
Track Your Successes and the Feelings That Go With Them
Journal your accomplishments, big and small. Write down specifically how you felt for every win. Ask yourself, “How did you feel when you achieved something?” “What did you do to get there?” Eventually, you will see some patterns. Analyze them objectively. You may just realize that you actually earned your success.
Accept and Celebrate Your Triumphs
List all the awards, milestones, and honors you’ve ever received.
Read each win, mindfully. Remember how great you felt when you achieved them. Sit with the feelings and savor those positive emotions. Believe that you’ve earned all those wins from honest effort.
Impostor syndrome affects all social groups. People with this syndrome believe their successes are just the luck of the draw. If you feel the same way, try to turn those feelings around.