Do you feel like a fraud in danger of being exposed when someone praises your work? Do you think your achievements are just a matter of luck? If so, you may be experiencing Imposter syndrome.
That's the term psychologists invented in the 1970s when they were studying successful women. Now, they know that men are just as likely to be affected.
In fact, an estimated 70% of adults experience the symptoms at least occasionally. You may be especially vulnerable when you're trying something new or celebrating an important occasion like a job promotion.
Impostor syndrome may be caused by your personality or the way you grew up. Whatever the reasons, you can stop undermining yourself. Learn to experience doubts without letting them interfere with the happiness and success you deserve.
Changing Your Thinking:
1. Remember your achievements. Review your track record. Putting your victories in context will show you that they're not flukes.
2. Give yourself credit. Change your self-talk. When you catch yourself becoming critical, congratulate yourself, instead. Reframing your thoughts will help you to view yourself in a more positive light.
3. Accept uncertainty. Impostor syndrome is often associated with perfectionism. Embrace yourself unconditionally, including your strengths and weaknesses. Set realistic goals and expectations.
4. Validate yourself. Live up to your own standards rather than relying on approval from others. Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings so you can manage them effectively.
5. Appreciate the effort. Do you regard struggling as a sign of weakness? In reality, success often requires careful planning and hard work.