I’m living in someone else’s body. I am trying to make myself someone I’m not, and I feel like everyone knows I’m a fraud. The pressure is becoming too much for me to handle. These are usually symptoms accompanied by Imposter syndrome. Personally, I had this syndrome earlier this year, and without even realizing what it was.
During the summer I was nominated for a leadership fellowship, and I jumped at the opportunity. I knew it would be great for me to gain experience in other areas such as public speaking, and when I was actually accepted into the program, I was ecstatic. However, soon after I celebrated, things began to fall apart for me. I began to compare my accomplishments to the students I was working alongside, and with each one I fell short.
As the program progressed, I began to feel that while everyone else was growing, I was falling behind. Even though I put in effort to get into the program and was doing what was asked of me, I simply felt like I didn’t belong.
The important thing to note about that entire experience was that those feelings I had were temporary. Imposter syndrome is largely common among all people, and luckily, something that can be overcome.The primary step in fighting against Imposter syndrome is to recognize that it is happening to you. This can occur in a variety of ways, such as noticing that you refuse to share ideas because you automatically assume they aren’t good, or constantly comparing yourself to those around you. This can often be the most difficult aspect of the process because it is easy to lose sight of yourself when dealing with Imposter syndrome.
The next step is to take a moment to give yourself credit for every accomplishment you have made in the past, and for those that are yet to come. Validating your successes can boost yourself confidence, and eventually pull you out of the mindset that makes you think you are living a lie. This syndrome can make you feel like you are here by mere luck, or that you don’t deserve what you have, but you do! After reading this blog post, I hope you take with you the fact that people see the hard work you do, and you should give yourself credit as well. It’s up to you to act on that and prosper with it.