So the first thing that comes in our mind is - what is imposter syndrome, and how do you deal with it?
To understand this, let's answer a few questions-
a. Do you often feel less accomplished?
b. Do you feel that others are constantly doing better than you?
c. Do you feel that no matter how hard you've worked to achieve your position, you do not deserve it?
d. Do you feel that asking for help will make you incompetent or that you will be perceived as a loser?
e. Do you feel like you're letting everyone down and that everyone else is better off without you?
f. Do you think that you are faking your emotions and absolutely swear by the proverb- "fake it, till you make it?"
If you said yes, then my friend, you suffer from imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome is a feeling where one person, constantly undermines their sense of worth and accomplishments.
This is something that not just students suffer from, but also professionals in the area, too.
A bit of an imposter syndrome won't really hurt you, but constantly dwelling over it and constantly undermining yourself will. As the risk of imposter syndrome increases, your chances of being termed as "perfectionist", will too.
You will never be satisfied with your work and will want to do better and better and better and well, better. Better than yourself and better than everyone else.
So how do you get over it? How do you realise that it is okay to have imposter syndrome?
It is important to understand that imposter syndrome is not a disorder. It is actually something that the psychologists termed, way back in the 1970s but they have also stated that it is not a disorder, so don't worry if you suffer from one.
On a personal note, I did too.
But here are a few things that you need to keep in mind while dealing with yourself; a really tried and tested method which works for me, and hopefully, will work for you as well:
1. Understand that imposter syndrome is a very common occurrence.
A lot of people need to understand that a lot of other people in this world actually suffer from it. It's absolutely okay to feel lost and unwanted. It's okay to feel that others are doing better than you.
It's okay to feel that you are in this alone- while in reality, you are not! Hence, we move on to our next point.
2. Talk to someone who would make you feel comfortable.
It is absolutely fine if you feel alone, because you're not alone. Talk to someone you trust, confide in them, make them aware of what you are going through. There are people who face the feelings that you face on a daily basis and would love to connect with you and talk to you about it. Once again, imposter syndrome is not a disorder so don't worry about the fact that you'll be judged and that you will be misguided. Be sure to open up to someone you know will not judge you no matter what!
Make mistakes. Make them often and learn from them. Understand that making mistakes is a part and parcel of life so you do not need to worry about being judged. People who judge you for your mistakes have also committed serious blunders in their lives, so do not worry that you will be judged or that you will be made fun of or that you have done nothing in life.
It is absolutely fine to feel this way and your feelings are valid. But remember the approach - mistakes are common and one can't learn something new without actually committing mistakes.
The biggest part of the imposter syndrome is seeking validation for your work from an outside party. If you constantly seek validation from someone other than yourself, you are likely to get disappointed. The simple rule of life is that you cannot get approval from everyone and that you cannot ever make each and every person on this planet happy. But, the only person you can truly please at all walks of life is - you, yourself!
Hence remember, you need to work on making yourself happy. Seek validation from yourself. It is absolutely okay to shrug what someone says about you, their opinions should never matter. It is absolutely okay to feel bad about what someone says about you, but again, their opinions should never matter. If you are not happy with yourself, the world can never make you happy.
In my first year of law, we had psychology as a subject wherein we were told that there are two factors of motivation - intrinsic and extrinsic. While extrinsic motivation is based on some outside factors and may change with time, intrinsic is something that is perpetual. Hence, any validation you seek must be intrinsic. Forget what the world says, it's their job to say stuff about you/ to you. Remember what you are there for!
Hopefully, these tips would have helped you deal with or at least give a direction on which you are supposed to work ahead to tackle the very dreaded - imposter syndrome.
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