I’ve been thinking a lot about impostor syndrome lately. Which is an odd way to start a conversation but I’m not apologizing for it. A bunch of people in my life recently seem to be suffering from crippling self-doubt, they are apologizing for themselves, having trouble internalizing greatness, and have a general sense of unworthiness. Ok, so yes, I’m talking about me too. But, in friends, it’s easier to see and harder to watch. So, here we are, the group of us wallowing in this soup of self-deprecating expression. Feeling like we can’t be the amazing people we are and calling ourselves impostors.
So I googled the definition of this syndrome, because google knows all, and found so many different descriptions of it from a fear of being found out as a fraud to people who are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Which, I guess fits. Yes, there is this sense of fraudulent acting, but I don’t think we all are walking around constantly worried about being ‘found out.’ And maybe it in and internalization thing… but what we feel is… different. It’s a sense of undeserving, and self-doubt.
Here’s an example, so I’ve had multiple people in my life tell me that I’m incredibly intelligent. However, I’ve never really felt all that smart. I mean, I see stupid people everywhere, but I just think they’re really, really stupid and I’m average. Then a friend told me that, intelligent people don’t think they’re intelligent because it just seems like common sense. And I thought, yeah, but that’s not me.
Or my friend in an ivy league school who thinks that they couldn’t do anything else with their life, except go to school. An I know them – very well – they could do anything! I have another friend who doesn’t believe that they deserve the award they got… but they got it… so they do…
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Except maybe to say that we do deserve it. And we have earned it. And no one will find you out as a fraud because you aren’t one. So go for it, kick some ass, and accept that ribbon. Stop apologizing for accepting compliments and say thank you.