In this episode, Nicole and Marina discuss Imposter Syndrome—how it’s a real thing, how we’re all suffering from it, and how we can work to combat it.

Imposter syndrome? Is it a real thing?

Yes, yes it is!  

According to Psychology Today, “the imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

A persistent, internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.

We’ve all had the feeling of nerves when starting a new job or meeting new people. But, what about when that feeling doesn’t go away? That’s true imposter syndrome, where we unconsciously self-sabotage because of our internalized fear of being found out.  

Often, in feeling like we are not enough and that we are frauds, we feel like we are also undeserving of things of what we want or what we’ve already accomplished. Sometimes it feels like everyone has to be an “expert” at something, or there’s a push to call yourself an expert in your job. And that fear-fueled feeling of inadequacy is what keeps us from growing, from achieving our dreams, and from being truly happy and confident.

How can an imposter syndrome mindset impact you?

  1. It can limit our opportunities
  2. It can limit our growth
  3. It can cause stress, anxiety, low self confidence, shame and sometimes even depression.

So what can we do about this mindset? How can we move away from it?

  1. Collaborate with others. We can easily get stuck in our mindsets, and working with others helps see our work from a different viewpoint
  2. Work on your mindset: affirm yourself, find concrete examples of your successes so that when you catch yourself comparing to others or doubting yourself you have solid proof.
  3. Work with a career coach or mentor to help highlight what you’re doing well and how you can improve upon yourself
  4. Join a peer group, where you can discuss goals and obstacles with like-minded people who are different paths but experiencing the same setbacks or who have similar goals as you

Imposter syndrome isn’t something we can just “get over” and takes continuous work to stay in a frame of mind where you are honest with yourself and your work, and able to let go of the fear that society has taught us to believe. No matter what, you are enough, your work is good, and you have so much to offer the world. 

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How else do you combat feeling like a fraud? Let us know in the comments below!

Continue reading about the Imposter Syndrome from the writers of GenTwenty: