Do You Have Imposter Syndrome?

Thanks to a Buzzfeed quiz, I learned about imposter syndrome this week. Wikipedia describes the syndrome as a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a  fear of being exposed as a fraud. Even though there is evidence of their accomplishments and competence, those with the syndrome chalk up their success to luck or something similar.

And when I read that I was like “holy shiz I definitely have that.” For pretty much my whole entire life, I’ve never really thought that I’ve deserved anything. I’ve done a lot of great things in my life and accomplished a lot, and all of those things have surprised me.

When I got into all of the colleges I applied to (granted, I didn’t really reach) I was genuinely shocked because up until that point I didn’t know I could do anything right. And in my first year of college I got a job as a tour guide and I was like what kind of magic did I bewitch on them for them to think I would actually be a good fit for this?

And then I got into my sorority and I was so confused that people actually liked me. And then I got a good internship and I graduated from college. I got a good job and then an even better job.

I thought it was either luck or (if I’m being honest) I’ve chalked A LOT of it up to being a decently attractive female. Yupp, I don’t really think I’ve deserved any of this but I’ve gotten by because I’m not that terrible to look at

And it’s such a toxic way to think. I’ve always been intelligent, even if I suck at school. I’m not great at coming out of my shell, but I am great at talking about the things I’m passionate about. I got really good grades in college and I learned a lot about myself and taught myself a lot about the field I work in. How could I think I don’t deserve any of this, that I’m a fraud?

I don’t think it’s rare, I don’t think anyone of us get the credit we deserve and we especially don’t give it to ourselves. But if we don’t, really, who will?

20 thoughts on “Do You Have Imposter Syndrome?

  1. I think it’s a mental tug of war where I struggle with those thoughts but then I temporarily persuade myself that it’s definitely not like that at all!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can’t say I have an imposter syndrome but I can relate to asking the universe what I would have done to deserve amazing opportunities even after I’ve put in the work. It’s a strange way to think but it exists.

    Well done on all your accomplishments so far and here’s to wishing you more success.

    MaKupsy :

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  3. Oh my gosh, girl, I totally have this too! I really felt it when I got my first job as a nurse. I actually didn’t know what Imposters syndrome was, but when I described what I was feeling to a friend (who is a psychologist) she told me the name for it. So wild, right?! I think the biggest thing is reminding yourself that you have worked hard and you DO deserve what you have earned. Great post- totally relate

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  4. Yeppp I feel the same way! I was so surprised I got into college, even though I had the grades and extracurriculars to back it up. But at this point, I’m really just going to fake it until I make it, because if I’m the only one who feels like I’m a fraud, then I guess that’s a good thing.

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  5. Hmm…so I think there is some to the concept of feeling inadequate for the role/situation we’re in, even if we have gotten there by merit. I’ve certainly experienced that before myself. I’ve been relatively successful in my job, and even built a respectable career over the last several years, and yet I still have doubts out my suitability for this career path.

    That said, I hate the term “imposter Syndrome” because I think it discourages actual self-awareness and actual self-improvement. It allows you to accept any perceived doubt as “Imposter Syndrome” when in reality both “You deserve to be here” and “You have some strengths, but there are things you could improve on” can both be true simultaneously. It’s recognition of the latter and figuring how to learn/improve on the skills you may be lacking that actually leads to growth.

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  6. I’ve only ever really had imposter syndrome in the outdoors/ overlanding community. Not so much because I think I’ll be exposed as a fraud, but because the way people treat BIPOC almost makes it so you have to try that much harder to prove you need to be here. And sometimes, it feels like, if you don’t, they’ll decide you’re a fraud and treat you accordingly.

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