What Is “Imposter Syndrome” Is—and How You Can Overcome it

Written by Salina Jivani

You’re a bad-ass employ. You’re the star of meetings, you’ve got this fancy work title that makes you look like you’re all that in a bag of M&Ms, and you’ve even got a degree to prove you’re the real deal.

 

So why do you still feel like you’re a fake? Because you’ve got a bad case of the “imposter syndrome.”

 

You know what it’s like: that overwhelming feeling that you don’t deserve the credibility you’re receiving, or that you’re not really an expert, though everyone seems to think you are. And while you’re thinking about it, are you even good at what you do?

 

Imposter syndrome sucks, because it makes you question your ability—and sometimes even your worth in a career. Fortunately, there are ways to get over that horrible, sinking feeling that you’re nothing but a fraud.

 

Focus on your successes—not your failures

Imposter syndrome can often rear its ugly head when things go absolutely wrong and you don’t perform your best. But it can also happen when things are going great. Remember that you are where you are in your career because of your successes and accomplishments, not your failures. So focus on the positive.

 

Know that it’s not just you

If you feel like it’s just you who suffers imposter syndrome, take comfort in knowing that that’s not the case. Even the most famous and successful of talent, people like Tom Hanks, Tina Fey and Emma Watson, have had suffered this feeling. In fact, it’s said that up to 70% of people are likely to have imposter syndrome at some point in their lives.

 

Talk to someone

Speaking with a good friend or coworker about your feelings may surprise and reassure you because you’ll likely find that they, too, share or have experienced similar doubts—which should prove that imposter syndrome is totally normal and certainly nothing specific to you or any inadequacies you may feel you have.

 

If you feel overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, be sure to consult with a professional or work on things that help boost your confidence—like extra trainings or classes. Investing in yourself is one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

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