Hello SOTGC community,
No matter how high-achieving we may be, it is not uncommon to experience moments where we underestimate our capabilities, where our thoughts may be burdened by a sense of self-doubt, where we feel almost like impostors who don’t deserve the praise and recognition we receive.
If you have ever felt this way, you are most definitely not alone! A common phenomenon among high achievers, the “Impostor Syndrome” was a term coined in the 1980′s to describe the feeling or fear that one gets of being “found out” as not being as smart, capable, skilled or deserving as everything seems to think.
As Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, describes in her National Best Seller, Lean In, “…many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can’t seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are – impostors with limited skills or abilities.
As a medical student currently on her surgery rotation, I can definitely attest and relate to the feelings and “symptoms,” so to speak, of the oh-so common “Impostor Syndrome.” I believe that it’s a rather natural feeling to experience, especially in areas that challenge us and pull us out of our comfort zones. In essence, it is a sign that we are not settling for mediocre but striving to do our best. We are driven by our high ambitions and expectations of ourselves! However, I believe that it is also of the utmost importance to not let this fear impede our ability to not only succeed but do so with a sense that we are deserving of our accomplishments.
Here are some things to keep in mind in dealing with this phenomenon!
Own your successes! – Be kind to yourself and embrace the hard work and dedication that have brought you to where you are today.
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone – that’s where all the magic happens! – Trying something new, especially something challenging or out of your comfort zone, can be a scary thing to do. Remember that you are capable of anything you put your mind to!
Mistakes are opportunities for growth! – There is no such thing as failure … we all have our ups and downs! Take every moment in life as an opportunity to learn and grow. Things may not always go as planned, but every step of the journey brings us closer to our goals and dreams.
Strive to be your best self! – Don’t burden yourself by comparing your abilities, skills, and worth to that of others. Be yourself, and work on your own strengths, ambitions, and goals … in your own special way. Your journey is unique ….
Stay positive! – Wake up every morning with the belief that something wonderful is going to happen. Drive self-doubt out of your mind, and convince yourself that no matter what, you grow each day and your experiences enrich your personal story.
Thus, my dearest readers, don’t feel like an impostor! You are far from fraudulent … own your success, and do not let the fear of failure ever stop you from making things happen … making magic happen!!!
If this post resonated with you, allow it to serve as a reminder to never feel like an impostor and to be proud of your accomplishments! Encourage your friends and peers to feel the same way … share the notion and create a culture of positivity and feelings of self-worth!