I thought as I got older, and more knowledgeable, Imposter Syndrome would drift off into the sunset, me waving goodbye to it at the water’s edge, finally feeling as though my successes were deserved.
Imposter Syndrome isn’t uncommon. Even if you don’t know it by that name, chances are that you’ve felt it.
Imposter Syndrome: the belief that one’s successes are fraudulent or a product of luck.
It creeps up on me every so often, the same process each time. I work hard, I achieve and then the doubt settles in. Here’s an example: I have a degree in German and Dutch. When I tell people this they ask if I’m fluent and I used to say one of two things. Either: “Yeah, pretty much,” or “It depends what you count as fluent.” Both of these answers make me cringe. Now I’m working on changing that. Now when people ask if I’m fluent, I say yes, confidently. I might still not quite believe it myself, but I’m trying.
Just last week I passed my final nursing placement of second year. I was happy, of course, but I couldn’t get rid of this nagging feeling that I’d somehow conned my mentor into thinking that I was good enough to pass.
If I think about this rationally, it becomes a bizarre concept. The idea that I have some kind of superpower which allows me to pull the wool over people’s eyes so that they think I’m capable is ridiculous. Yet, the voice in my head comes back every time telling me that I don’t deserve my successes.
I’ve lived most of my life believing that my failures are down to me only, whereas my successes must be the product of luck or someone else’s input. This is such an unhealthy outlook and one that I’m consciously trying to change now. It’s hard but it’s worth it to be proud of myself.
Do you experience Imposter Syndrome? How do you try to curb it?