Saying ciao to the imposter syndrome

Saying ciao to the imposter syndrome

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The last time your boss congratulated you for your work, you said it was due to luck, an easy subject, your partner who helped you out, your eight hours of sleep on the previous day or the sunny weather on that day. But not yourself-what an absurd idea! 

A description which can trigger a smile but it’s not far from being the reality for many of us. If you identify yourself in this, you’re surely suffering from the imposter syndrome, a sort of obsessive doubt which is about denying one’s own accomplishments and this can strongly come in the way of success, in the professional realm.

We are going to take a look and see what this syndrome is all about and how to keep it buttoned, to resume self-confidence and fulfillment in one’s work. 

The tyranny of doubt

The imposter syndrome, also known as the self-taught syndrome is about doubting oneself and one’s capacities, in an obsessive manner. The people suffering from this, systematically reject taking any credit whatsoever and usually ascribe their successes on external factors: luck, tenacious efforts, other people, circumstances, etc. 

The one suffering from this syndrome constantly lives with the feeling of tricking others and not deserving their place and the fear of being unveiled. 

This ill really gets to some people. This way, women who are generally encouraged to show humility, right since their childhood and not highlighting oneself, are mostly victims of this syndrome. People who are perfectionist, self-critics and those who lack self-confidence suffer from this as well. 

Unraveling one’s bothersome thoughts

At the origin of this ill, some thoughts maintain this feeling of imposture:

-“I am forced to be perfect”

- “I can’t allow myself to fail”

- “I am going to be rejected, if I make the slightest mistake”

It’s important to unravel these thoughts to get rid of them. This required distancing oneself from them and criticizing them: 

-“The fact that I am not a complete expert in this sector, prevents me from doing this activity?”

- “Are others also very harsh on themselves, like I am on myself?”

-“What would be the real consequences if what I do isn’t perfect, or if I fail? Is it going to be so insurmountable?”.

Often, questioning your evil thoughts should help you channel them and decrease the impact. 

Getting re-connected with one’s true worth

To try and get out of this hellish circle, it is also important to resume self-confidence and recognize one’s true value.

Even if someone who is suffering from this imposture syndrome has the habit of running away from assessments, it’s important to beat this fear. Don’t hesitate asking for help from benevolent people around you: your boss, your colleagues, your partner, your family or friends… 

Choose objective people whom you really trust, those people to whom your well-being really matters and who wish to help you grow. Nobody related through a conflict of interest or envious people. So, avoid a boss who doesn’t want you to take notice of your worth, through fear of giving you a raise or a colleague who is jealous of your status in the company.

This step should help you realize your assets and weaknesses. So, ask your interlocutors to list out three of your main assets and three areas where you can improve and work on. This way, you’ll have a fairer and a more positive vision of what you’re actually worth. 

Having a vision

Having a clear vision of where you wish to head, and your goals can help you conquer the imposter syndrome. This way, you focus more on the ambition which motivates you and on heading towards a result and less on the fact about being perfect and in total control. This way, you are able to forgive yourself of the possible mistakes you may have made along the way and you don’t let them come in your way towards achieving your goals!


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