Impostor syndrome is the concern that you have not earned your station in life, be it professional or personal and can eat away at even the most competent-seeming people. According to Kajabi, “A staggering 86% of business owners who made between $10k and $1 million on the platform said they’ve dealt with feelings of Imposter Syndrome.” This article has been written to explain impostor syndrome, how it manifests and ways to overcome it and push forward into success.
Defining Impostor Syndrome
“Impostor syndrome” was coined by two researchers in 1978. While initial research indicated that only women developed it, new details have emerged that indicate this is an issue that plagues everyone. In a nutshell, impostor syndrome is an inability to internalize and take ownership of success.
Impostor syndrome can manifest in several ways and nearly nine in ten professionals suffer from it.
- Perfectionists feel like failures unless they achieve perfection.
- Experts never show initiative until they can demolish all chances of failure by researching every aspect of some decision.
- Natural geniuses have a hard time believing they are worthy of something due to the ease by which certain skill sets come to them.
- Soloists believe that any task that requires asking for help is a task they are unsuited to.
- Superbeings feel they have to do it all and chase accomplishment out of compulsion.
What Causes Impostor Syndrome?
There is no one cause to this syndrome, some believe that it has to do with heightened levels of anxiety or neuroticism while others believe that development is to blame. Having a sense of belonging encourages confidence; the fewer people a person encounters during his formative years, the less confident he may become as an adult. This propensity for confidence can be exacerbated if a person falls outside of positive stereotypes of a certain ethnicity or culture.
How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome
When answering the question of how to overcome imposter syndrome, the first step is admitting your inadequate feelings and then stepping back to assess their reality. Ask someone who knows you professionally what their opinion of you is and avoid dismissing whatever they say. Chances are good that they will list many of the achievements or skills you feel are nothing special, giving you the grounding you need. If you mention feeling like a phony or that you otherwise struggle, do not be surprised if that person shares similar thoughts.
It is important to remember impostor syndrome is built upon perceptions that usually differ from reality. If you feel unsure of yourself, write up an unflinching of your strengths, weaknesses, job opportunities and tangible threats to your success. Once you finish writing things, you will probably see far more opportunities or strengths than your inner voice may let you admit.
Impostor syndrome may be something that eats away at your self-worth but it never hurts to take a step back and analyze the source of that anxiety. By being mindful of your accomplishments and setbacks, you can go on to bigger and greater successes while feeling confident that you earned them.