Have you ever doubted yourself and your capabilities? maybe feel your accomplishments are merely due to good luck , or wondering whether you are really as smart as people think you are?
Of course you have!
Well, who hasn’t?
I’m sure you can relate because everyone has felt like that at some point in in life (maybe even too often!)
We tend to beat ourselves up thinking we are not doing enough or that we are not really that “good”.
I have experienced it myself a lot!
I have caught myself being too shy, introverted, nervous or even fearful when I was at school, at the university, in all my jobs and also experienced it during the course of my PhD.
Feeling anxious to ask any questions or to speak up my mind because I didn’t want to look stupid OR being afraid that someone would “find out” that I was not really too brilliant.
In hindsight, I’ve discovered that I was always OK! I was doing great. I just wouldn’t acknowledge it at the moment.
Well, I’m telling you all of this because I have recently discovered there’s a name for that! It is called the “impostor syndrome”, consisting of the denial and disbelief of the own success and achievements.
In other words, you tend to think your accomplishments are due to luck, good timing or other people thinking you are more qualified than you really are. Thus you feel like an “impostor” or a “fraud”. Apparently very common in women in science (you can download the issue of the 25th anniversary of physics world and read the article on page 10).
As a consequence, people suffering from this syndrome end up engaging in less demanding activities than those they are capable of.
Well, you have to start giving yourself more credit!
Mind you, I’m not encouraging you to take it to the extreme and become arrogant (must be very careful with that!) but instead to remain humble without diminishing yourself (Tweet me!).
Can you relate? Have you ever had the “impostor syndrome”?…Then you need to believe more in yourself! Try this for a start:
1. Put it on paper: Look over the last 5 to 10 years in your life and make a list of your biggest achievements. Next to each one, write down all the actions you had to take to accomplish them. Looking at it on paper will help you recognize that you’ve worked for it and that you are not an “impostor”.
2. Talk to yourself: Pay more attention to your thoughts and whenever you realize you are sabotaging and doubting yourself, start to come up with arguments to prove it wrong. Talk to yourself out loud if possible to be more convincing, saying how you are worthy, talented, capable, etc. Positive affirmations are also great to reinforce it. You can set some positive affirmations on your cell phone as a reminders or leave little notes at home.
It is very important to be honest though. So, really open up and look within to identify whether you’ve suffered from this syndrome before or are experiencing it now to some degree. It doesn’t have to be severe, most of us will feel it to a rather low extent, but it is still holding us back and blocking our development.
Use the comment section below to let me know your thoughts on this.
Did you already know about the “impostor syndrome”? (because I had no idea!)
Have you experienced it?
Also, if you try the tips above let me know if it helped!!