imposter syndrome
Posted By Devin Dornbrock Posted On

Imposter Syndrome: Why Do I Feel Like a Fraud?

So, you’ve written your resume, nailed the interview, and you’re starting a new job. You should feel on top of the world, and maybe you do. But maybe you also feel like you don’t belong and that you’re a fraud for being there or that you took the place of someone more qualified? We’re here to tell you that you do belong and what you’re feeling is pretty common.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

If you don’t know what imposter syndrome is, you’re lucky. According to Psychology Today, around 70% of adults will feel imposter syndrome at some point in their life. The symptoms of imposter syndrome include:

– Feeling like you’re not enough.

– Loss of confidence in your abilities.

– Questioning your achievements.

– Believing you don’t belong.

You essentially feel like a fraud. It might be called a syndrome, but imposter syndrome isn’t an actual diagnosis. It sucks to feel like you don’t belong, but it isn’t something you can fix in a snap with the right medication. Imposter syndrome is more of a mindset where you can’t accept your worthiness and competence.

Imposter syndrome can hit anyone at any time, whether you’re starting college or a new job or even if you’ve had the same job and get new responsibilities. No one is immune to imposter syndrome. It’s very similar to self-doubt like that. If you’re feeling like an imposter, it’s important to remember that you’re doing well. You didn’t get to where you are by mistake.

Causes of Imposter Syndrome

There are a lot of different causes of imposter syndrome. If you have anxiety or depression, if you are a perfectionist or given new responsibilities, it can cause impostorism. Ironically if you are recognized for your achievements in front of peers, you can also begin to doubt yourself and feel like a fraud.

Even if you’ve done well before and achieved great things, self-doubt can creep in at the first sign of failure. Other people can contribute to causing imposter syndrome, whether intentionally or not. It can be harder to see your worth if you’re constantly questioned or have a history of being in abusive environments.

Combating Imposter Syndrome

I’m not trying to make things sound hopeless! You can do things to combat imposter syndrome, and most people will adjust on their own just fine. It is important to fight imposter syndrome though, don’t just try to bear it until it passes. If you don’t do anything, you could lose the chance to grow and make the most of every opportunity.

Take Charge

Remind yourself of the things you’ve done that helped you get to where you are, and remember that you deserve to be there. The people around you believe in you and think you’re more than capable of being in the position that you’re in. If the people around you are part of the problem, try to sit down with them and figure out how you can work together better.

Talk it Out

Sometimes we can’t overcome things on our own, and that’s okay. Talking to someone else can give you a new perspective and help you believe in yourself and your achievements. Your friends and family see you in ways you don’t see yourself. If you have a mentor or teacher you trust, they can also help remind you of how great you are.

We All Feel It

They say misery loves company, so maybe that’s why we feel better when we realize we aren’t the only ones going through something hard. Your boss and your boss’s boss have probably felt like an imposter before too. So has your neighbor and your best friend, and your parents. You’re not the odd one out.

It may sound corny to tell you the best way to fight imposter syndrome is to toot your own horn, but it’s the most direct way to fight the problem. When you feel like you aren’t enough, reminding yourself that you are with receipts just makes sense. It also helps to remind yourself that you’re not a freak and you’re not the only one dealing with this.

The American Psychological Association goes into a lot more detail on what Imposter Syndrome is and how to get past it. Read more on the subject right here. They even have interviews with psychologists and research dating back over 50 years.

At the End of the Day

We all feel like a fraud at one time or another. Adjusting to new situations and responsibilities isn’t easy for everyone and can put a lot of pressure on us. That’s normal, and the best thing to do when you feel like you’re not enough is to remind yourself that you are. Getting other people to help remind you doesn’t hurt either.

If you need a little extra boost, we also have a blog on gaining a sense of fulfillment that might help you too. 

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong in a new job or school? Let us know in the comments below!

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