You may have heard the term before but aren’t sure what it means. Don’t worry, I was the same about 18 months ago, when I was suffering imposter syndrome but had no idea it had a “title”, I just thought I was strange. Imposter Syndrome is very simply when you doubt your abilities and have feelings like you are a fraud. Many people struggle to accept their achievements and feel they don’t deserve it. This is imposter syndrome stepping in and making you feel as though you are not worthy of credit for your accomplishments. There has been no “definite” reason to why we experience imposter syndrome, but studies have shown that it could be down to how you differ in some way from others. For example, race, gender, age or religion. This might not be the case – it certainly wasn’t for me. I felt and do often feel different from my peers. That isn’t to say we don’t have lots in common, because we do, but I have a different creativity and drive for something I don’t always see in many other people (Obviously, that isn’t down to age, religion or race, that is my personality). I landed a really amazing opportunity to write for an extremely well-known celebrity, and the entire time this imposter syndrome was almost taking over my ability to write, because I felt like a total fraud for getting the job. I was riddled with anxiety and losing sleep because I didn’t think I was good enough for this role. The only thing that stopped those feelings were the praise after the work was sent in. Even then it still lingered. Since, it has happened many times.
Imposter Syndrome is experienced by everyone, however, predominantly women, and often coexists with depression and anxiety. If you’re sat there feeling like “yes, this is me” and often feel like you aren’t good enough for the job you have – you are not alone. Famous faces such as Michelle Obama and Charlize Theron have confessed to experiencing imposter syndrome. But the question is why? And why is it predominantly women? Is that because history has played such a part in trying to make us, as women, feel inferior in the workplace? That when we do achieve and accomplish our goals, we feel we aren’t deserving of it? Why do we distrust our success? Who says we are not good enough? Answer that question in your head, because I guarantee it’s from someone intimidated by you or nobody even at all. Our minds are clever, and often trick us into a spiral of self-doubt.
The most important thing to keep telling yourself when you feel like imposter syndrome is stepping in, is no. Tell yourself that this is just your negative thinking. Recite your affirmations and repeat “I am worthy. I am deserving. I am fearless. I am powerful. I am a woman and I deserve everything I have worked hard for”. And please, be kind to yourself, in a world that isn’t always kind to you and always, always, say yes to new opportunities.
By Hollie Warwick