Kind of a Big Deal: Imposter Syndrome

March 28, 2018

From Wikipedia: Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a "fraud".


Research suggests that the phenomenon affects high-achieving people in a variety of fields for a handful of reasons. Are women, in particular, socialized to doubt their worth? Case studies that involved men showed that they were susceptible too.


More recent studies suggests that, Asian-Americans and African-American students feel stress, anxiety and depression that's directly linked to fear of discrimination, despite their achievements.


I'm going to pick on my best friend for a second. She's a playwright with a lot of buzz right now - her plays are being produced all over the country. While many theaters in the U.S. are having trouble with attendance, her last play I attended sold out and had protestors outside. Even if we weren't friends, I'd admit that her production schedule for this year would make any theater artist green with envy.


When pressed by colleagues at a recent theater conference, she said that she was afraid she'd never be in - to quote another overachiever - the room where it happens. Her colleagues at the conference had to gently remind her that she was, quite literally, in the room where it happened. She was PRESENTING at the conference!


Just like her, I often feel like I'll have "made it" when I get that One Big Thing and not a moment sooner. But when I do get that cool opportunity, it doesn't seem real.


Embarrassing example: I'm guilty of double and triple checking booking emails to make sure that they meant to send offers to me and not someone else.


If you're someone who is often doubting your self-worth and questioning every good thing that happens to you, or comparing your success to other people's, maybe it's time to research imposter syndrome.


This great list of how to get over the ambition jitters is my favorite for this single line: "Remind yourself that the people who got you here are incredibly competent and they did not make a mistake."


How do you overcome imposter syndrome? Have any awesome glow-ups to share? Share them here or email me - I'd love to hear from you.


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