By Krista Shepherd
Impostor Syndrome is phenomenon discovered in 1970’s. It refers to individuals that feel like a fraud or that think they have somehow fooled everyone around them into thinking they have the talent or the skills for the job that needs to be done. It is often accompanied by constant fear of being found out and being fired or humiliated. Studies suggest that imposter syndrome is particularly common among women.
Effects of impostor syndrome include higher stress levels, understating of one’s skills and experience, not applying for the dream job, and constant attribution of success to pure luck. It can also lead to burnout and sleep deprivation as people suffering from imposter syndrome are far more likely to obsess over details.
Impostor Syndrome is very widespread in every single industry. Here’s a list of people who wake up every day thinking of themselves as frauds:
Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook’s COO), Emma Watson, Maya Angelou, Kate Winslet, Renee Zellweger, Tina Fey, Dr. Margaret Chan (chief of the World Health Organisation), Michelle Pfeiffer, Sonia Sotomayor (associate justice of the Supreme Court of the US), Neil Gaiman, Albert Einstein, Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep, Chris Martin, Don Cheadle, Michael Uslan (producer of the Batman movies), Denzel Washington, Chuck Lorre.
Unfortunately no medication have been made to help fight the syndrome, however there are some things you can do. Like, Allowing yourself to feel pride about your work. Giving yourself some credit. Finding someone to talk about the way you feel. And most importantly reminding yourself that it’s the syndrome, not the truth. Whenever you feel like a fraud, say “It’s called imposter syndrome, it affects 70% of people and it’s nothing more than a glitch in my brain.” Saying it out loud can make a huge difference.