Recognizing Imposter syndrome, part 1

August 25, 2022

"I'm not good enough"

"I shouldn't be here"

"I don't have the energy"

Feel a wave of self-doubt coming on? You might be suffering from impostor syndrome. Impostor syndrome is like a subconscious whisper that feeds negativity into your mind making you doubt your own abilities and at times, even your right to exist. Imposter syndrome, also known as perceived fraudulence, does not discriminate. It has intercepted the minds of multibillionaires to creatives and scholars so remember, if you've ever experienced this uneasiness, you're not alone. When you transition into a new position you might feel like an imposter because you're a beginner, but build into the role and don't fall for the imposter trap.

How to recognize it

Recently I've been met with imposter syndrome after receiving an amazing work opportunity. Once the initial excitement wore off, imposter syndrome stepped in. It was a project I'm fond of yet I found myself procrastinating. Physically I couldn't complete the task that would benefit me, so instead I began self-sabotaging without even knowing it. Why is it so easy to fall into self-criticism and self-sabotage? Because we don't pay enough attention to feeding ourselves positive affirmations and beliefs. Our thoughts and feelings have a direct impact on our actions therefore, when we sit with our thoughts and feed it positivity and understanding our bodies react well to the situation. In my case after sitting with my thoughts and feelings I was able to gain the energy to complete my task without hesitation.

Answering these questions will help identify if imposter syndrome is present.

Looking into potential underlying causes we notice how factors from family dynamics to environmental stressors and personality traits contribute to birthing imposter syndrome. Dr. Valerie Young, an imposter syndrome researcher, describes five main types of imposters that can build into one's character:

There are various ways to manage feelings of imposter syndrome which we'll look into in the next post in this series. Yet, one question remains, Does imposter syndrome ever leave? Imposter syndrome will always linger in the background but as we grow, we learn to cancel out the noise and lean into courage rather than succumb to the fear of failure. I want to leave you with an important reminder:

Whenever self-doubt comes about, remind yourself: if I wasn't ready, I simply wouldn't have the opportunity.

Sha is one of the Feelmo Mentors


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