THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME
I have a list in my drafts about things I'm definitely not good at. Some things were legit (like loading the dishwasher) but other things (like my job!) got me thinking that maybe it's just in my head...
- •The imposter syndrome is real.It's a term that was coined in the 70s by psychologists.
- •It's most common in women.But a lot of men suffer from it too.
- •It's when you feel like a fraud when you're successful at something.A classic example is when high achieving women think they're just "getting away with it" and were "lucky" or were "in the right place at the right time" and will eventually get found out.
- •In an article by Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes, they described four common behaviors in people suffering from imposter syndrome.Here comes a list within a list.
- •Diligence:They work extra hard and over prepare for work for fear of being "found out". This can be an obsessive behavior and can be exhausting and lead to burn out.
- •Feelings of being a phony:They feel like they're fakes because they're constantly just trying to give their superiors or supervisors the answers that they think they want.
- •Use of charm:They try to build relationships with their superiors or simply charm them to seek approval from them or even gain more knowledge from them. Once they do get positive feedback though, they feel like they didn't earn it because it was based on their charm instead of merit.
- •Avoiding display of confidence:They feel that if they actually believe that they are capable or intelligent that others will reject them. So in order to feel accepted they convince themselves that they are not intelligent or don't deserve their success.
- •I've definitely suffered from imposter syndrome.As a marine biologist I felt I had to "dazzle" the audience whenever I gave a presentation, and now as a television producer I sometimes question whether I've deserved any success even though I know I've worked hard to get here.
- •It's easier for me to push past it when I am working with other women.I am fortunate enough to be working with an amazing team of mostly women right now. They are all confident and intelligent and great to work with. In the past though I've been in some working environments where I felt "lesser than" because I was working with men who felt they had to comment on my looks or act superior to me. I've also worked with women who belittled me.
- •It's hard to shake it.But you have to. Everyone in the world got to where they are using their own paths. Think about yours. Nothing was handed to you.
- •Good things happen and that's ok.My sister says that I "surf the wave of life", meaning that good things seem to come to me and I just go with it. But that doesn't mean I didn't work hard to catch that wave in the first place by putting myself if the right spot (to carry the metaphor).
- •You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!