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Imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome

The imposter syndrome

You have probably heard about the Imposter Syndrome, but you may still be wondering: what exactly is it, what are its causes, and most importantly, how can I overcome it? Well, today we are going to try to address all these questions, so that you can get some more clarity on this syndrome that affects so many people nowadays.

So, What exactly is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon whereby people who suffer from it feel that they are not capable or competent enough - especially in the professional area - even though they have proven their worth and potential on past occasions. People who suffer from it tend to think that their achievements have been the result of luck or chance, and therefore do not deserve their success.

How do I know if I may be suffering from imposter syndrome?

There are some signs that indicate that a person may be suffering from this syndrome. Firstly, the constant feeling of insecurity and disbelief in one's own abilities. People who suffer from this syndrome have the false belief that they are not worthy of their own achievements, or do not consider them to be fair. They also find it difficult to accept compliments and praise. We can say that in many cases, these people are extremely critical of themselves. This feeling of insecurity goes hand in hand with a fear of 'being found out', that means that they fear that someone will realise that we are not really worth that much, and that they will end up disappointing those they work with, or to their family and close friends. People suffering from this syndrome often present symptoms of anxiety, sadness, and guilt, as well as a big difficulty in enjoying success.

Causes for which impostor syndrome can occur

Some experts place the causes of this syndrome around childhood experiences, such as criticism from the family. It is also related to having a low self-esteem and a lack of self-knowledge and our own skills. This means that the people that suffer this syndrome often do not value or take for granted their knowledge and skills, and they tend to think that are nothing extraordinary. The causes that lead a person to suffer from this syndrome vary. If you suspect that you are suffering from it and believe that it is being prolonged over time, you should consider to seek for help from a professional, in order to explore the causes and possible solutions.

How can we tackle imposter syndrome?

It is important to start by not minimising the compliments that come our way, and to stop attributing them to luck or chance. In this sense, it helps a lot to think about whether those merits and good things that are happening to us have really been the result of luck or our own efforts, or if that opportunity that came to us was by chance or if we had to make important decisions. Going back to the past and analyse it serves to gather evidence that our success is deserved. It is important to know that it is very common in modern societies to suffer from this syndrome at some point in our lives. However, it is important to be attentive to identify if the symptoms are staying for too long, meaning that we may need to seek psychological help to cope with it.

22 December 2022