Science

Am I worthy? The effects of imposter syndrome.

You’ve studied, you’re prepared; you know the material, you worked hard, you got this! Then the moment comes – whether it is giving a speech, getting the job, getting accepted into your dream school, (etc.) – and you feel unsure, undeserving, not quite good enough… Sound familiar? 

It’s not just you; this is the phenomenon known as imposter syndrome. In the late 1970’s psychologists, Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes, released a study in which they were researching high achieving women.  They coined the term “imposter phenomenon” as an internal process where an individual experiences intellectual “phoniness” and is “prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women.” Since the late 1970’s, a lot of research has been done on the imposter syndrome. We have learned that this does not just occur in women; in fact, it is experienced by individuals across the globe. The good news is that there are some recommended actions that you can take to help reduce these feelings of self-doubt. It has been found that by merely talking about how you are feeling to a trusted friend or mentor can help mitigate these feelings. And more than likely, you will find the person you are confiding in has experienced the feeling of being an imposter at one point.  

Take a deep breath and hold your head up high; if you have some doubts, know that you are not alone. 

Hot for more? 

READ: The imposter phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention The Reality of Imposter Syndrome

WATCH: What is imposter syndrome and how can you combat it?

Feature photo by Mason Kimbarovsky from Unsplash

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