Perceived failure Do you also suffer from impostor syndrome?admin
Do you know that feeling? You have achieved something at work or in your studies, perhaps you have written a strenuous seminar paper or completed a great presentation – but somehow you cannot be really proud of yourself and do not trust your own success and abilities. Even though you get good feedback. You always think that what you have achieved is more due to luck or the help of others.
Why is that?
Constant fear of being caught
“For those affected, imposter syndrome leads to negative, repetitive thoughts such as ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m a scammer,'” explains Dr. Andrea J. Marsden , assistant professor of psychology at Beacon College in Florida, to Bustle . “This leads to living in constant fear and worrying about being ‘detected'” – which often leads to undue stress.
Why do we think like this?
Historian and activist Blair Imani explains in an interview with Bustle that those who are not associated with the typical image of a successful person in our society suffer most from “impostor syndrome”. In other words, if you don’t know if you’re male and healthy (“abled”) or if you come from a low-income family, you tend to question your own achievements and tend to underestimate yourself. Imani emphasizes: “It’s the societal pressure that makes us feel these things.”
For a long time, she struggled with the idea that she was only hired because there weren’t any Muslim women on the team. It took her some time to understand that she certainly has the required skills and deserves her job – especially because other employees also gave her the feeling that she wasn’t good enough.
Imposter Syndrome: What Can I Do About It?
According to Imani, to overcome imposter syndrome, it helps to know where it comes from and to always remember that not believing in yourself is not a personal failure.
Comparisons with others are often the trigger for negative thoughts and doubts about one’s own abilities. Paying less attention to what others are doing (possibly also limiting social media consumption, since successes and positive experiences are often only showcased here) can also increase confidence in one’s own abilities. We can also help each other by reminding ourselves of our own successes.
Many also think they are alone with their self-doubts – if we talk openly about our thoughts and doubts with people we trust, we will find out in most cases that we are not alone with our feelings and can thus break the vicious circle of lonely suffering.