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Impostor syndrome: how to calculate and overcome
Impostor syndrome: how to calculate and overcome
Impostor syndrome is an inner feeling that all your merits are a good combination of circumstances, that you do not deserve the success you have achieved, and everyone around you will sooner or later figure you out and realize that you do not know anything and do not know how.
Many people face this feeling, but not always constantly, most often from time to time. Impostor syndrome can be associated with perfectionism, cultural attitudes, family relationships and more.
It is rarely associated with a real lack of knowledge and skills - an incompetent person does not think that he is doing something wrong.
There are some signs by which you can determine that you have impostor syndrome:
1. It is difficult for you to accept praise
When you are not confident in your own abilities, it is difficult for you to accept praise and compliments from others. If, in response to praise, you begin to justify yourself or convince your opponent of the words you have said, then you should take a closer look at yourself. Perhaps you underestimate yourself and you should think more often about your successes, and not think about what you have not yet achieved.
2. You feel that you don't deserve what is happening to you
Every morning it seems to you that you are living someone else's life, you do not feel equal with colleagues, you are nervous and do not understand why you are here. Of course, this happens, but if you have pleasant and friendly colleagues, a cozy atmosphere in the office, and the only inconvenience is that you feel “unworthy”, then you should think about it and look at the situation from the other side.
3. It seems to you that others cope with everything easier and faster
If it seems to you that your colleagues handle things easier and faster than you do, then it is quite possible that this is not entirely true. Maybe your colleague has more experience, which means that over time you will also be able to gain experience and do this or that job quickly. Or maybe your feelings are subjective - other people rarely talk about their mistakes and how hard it sometimes is to perform a particular task. In our world there is no job that would be easy, in any there are difficulties, downturns, routine and problems.
4. Do you think that your success is an accident
Thoughts of constant luck are most likely associated with the fear that you will not be able to repeat the same success, and the belief that your merits have nothing to do with your abilities. But if you are always “just lucky”, then think about it, maybe it's not just luck, but also the efforts you have made.
5. You explain your success by external factors
It is clear that it takes time and effort to become an expert in any field, as well as any knowledge and skills need to be developed and maintained. But this does not mean that right now you do not have any knowledge and what you manage to do well is connected with something other than your abilities and skills.
6. You are constantly afraid that you are about to be “discovered”
Living in constant fear is very difficult and it hinders quite a lot, so it will be useful to separate fears from reality. Think about whether you have cause for concern or are your managers really satisfied with you? Even if you got to work by pure chance, then most likely you will not work there for a long time - sooner or later it will be necessary to show your professional skills.
7. You feel insecure
If you feel that you are out of place, of course, it is difficult to act decisively. But when fear or excitement is constantly present, it may not be related to what is really happening. If you notice uncertainty in your speech, for example, using the words “probably”, “it seems”, then think about it, do you doubt yourself or that the decision will be successful?
8. The thought of mistakes and failures is unbearable for you
Excessive demands lead to the fact that every mistake seems to be the end of the world. And in the case of the “impostor”, there is also a fear of being “discovered”. But there is a chain at work here, the more you think about it, the more mistakes you make and the more pressure there is, and also the price of a new mistake becomes higher.
The question arises, so what to do if you have one or more signs of impostor syndrome? Do not panic. Doubts about professionalism arise from time to time for each of us. To understand how impostor syndrome hinders you. If it manifests itself sometimes and does not cause any special difficulties, then you can continue to coexist with it calmly. But if it prevents you from further developing and moving up the career ladder, you should take decisive action.
It is not necessary to completely get rid of this syndrome, in small doses it is very useful. In general, it is necessary to reduce its manifestation to a comfortable level.
The 1st way is to talk about your feelings
Many are afraid to share their experiences, it seems to them that people will think badly of them if they share their experiences. But it is useful to talk about problems - this way you will feel that you are not alone, get support and look at the situation from the other side. It is best to tell a psychologist about the syndrome or a person who once also experienced such feelings.
But if you are not ready to turn to a psychologist yet, then there is one available method: take a piece of paper and write in a column the answers to the following questions - “What benefit do I get from the impostor syndrome?”, “How is he useful to me?In the second column, write down the answers to the questions “What do I sacrifice for the impostor syndrome?” and “What does impostor syndrome take away from me?". After analyzing it, you will clearly understand that it's time to change something.
The 2nd way is to teach others something that you can do yourself
Do you often think that you don't know anything and don't know how? Prove the opposite in practice. Each person has a unique set of knowledge and skills. You absolutely have something to teach others. The problem is that you often take your skills and abilities for granted, and do not attach much importance to them.
You don't need to be an absolute expert in what you want to teach. If someone has less knowledge than you, it means that you can already give some recommendations and develop together with these people.
The 3rd way is to change the settings
When you are attacked by bad thoughts, for example, “my success is undeserved,” “I'm worthless,” “it all happened by accident,” pick up a notebook and write down all these negative thoughts. And write a positive one opposite each one. And every time bad thoughts arise in your head, try to change it to a positive one. At first, of course, it will be hard, but over time, you will realize that there is no trace of bad thoughts left.
The 4th way is to pay attention to achievements
Psychologist and author of the book “Impostor Syndrome” Sandy Mann recommends keeping a table to learn how to see your merits.
In the first column, write down your achievements in the form of dry facts, in the second - what you think about them and why you feel like an impostor. In the third - what actions, qualities, knowledge and skills allowed you to achieve the result from the 1st column. Next, it is proposed to evaluate the 2nd and 3rd columns as a percentage or on a ten-point scale the probability that this version is objective.
As a result of such an analysis, it will become obvious that your achievements are the result of your efforts, and not chance or luck.
The 5th way is to keep an error log
In order not to worry about mistakes, you need to remind yourself more often that absolutely everyone is wrong, even those whom we consider idols.
The “impostor syndrome” is an illusion based only on your opinion, not on facts and evidence. This is a subjective internal process, which means that each of you can handle it. Just think and decide what you want for yourself: to develop, go up the career ladder, develop your potential and live a bright and eventful life, or still succumb to the influence of the impostor syndrome and stay in the “house” for the rest of your life.