Imposter syndrome

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Imposter syndrome is something I imagine everyone goes through, yet it remains a topic rarely broached in conversation. A lot of it has to do with the fear of admitting we have it, and thereby exacerbating the fear.

As much as it can be fear-inducing, there surprisingly no quick answers available for anyone under its spell. I think a large reason why that is, while there have been plenty of studies looking into the phenomenon, its psychological nature makes it hard to track down. It’s not as easy as saying, I feel like a 10/10 imposter or a 1/10 imposter. Feeling like an imposter, whether the perceived magnitude is higher or lower, will feel paralysing regardless. It is like when you are trying to sleep but hear the subtle tick-tock of the clock, once it’s gotten your attention, it will stay with you despite the decibels that it produces being too small to measure.

From one perspective, imposter syndrome is confirmation that we are out of our comfort zone. Whether that is trying new things or taking on responsibility, most people would nod in agreement that anything that falls under those categories is a good thing. Perhaps instead of sweating over feeling like an imposter, we can re-train ourselves to associate that feeling of discomfort as one of progress. Not that this would be any easy thing to do, but the first step in building a new habit is acknowledgement of what the problem is.

I have found the vulnerability is the most effective approach with managing imposter syndrome. There is a lot of power in addressing those whom you feel like an imposter too and sharing these harboured thoughts. I am sure they, as much as you, would offer to help in anyway that may be beneficial. Getting to the stage is no small feat, but vulnerability is the way to get there. As much as there may be other ways to deal with imposter syndrome, there is nothing more direct than addressing it openly and willingly with whom it comes from.

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