Have you ever thought of a big idea or movement, but you doubt it, think it might turn out to be trash, or believe you wouldn’t have the audience? Then, you kill that idea, and after two years, you realize that if you had taken that bold step, it would have been the next big thing.
That self-doubt and fear of not being good enough is your imposter syndrome acting in your head, and that if I had known feeling after two years is the effect that imposter syndrome can cause on your personal development.
Feeling like an imposter is not strange. It happens to about 70% of people in the world, so it’s okay. What isn’t okay is letting your imposter feeling stunt your personal growth and development.
Personal Effects of Imposter Syndrome
Feeling like an imposter causes some negative effects like anxiety, stress, self-doubt, and self-isolation.
Imposter syndrome also gives you this fear of seeming like a fraud despite your successes. Hence you tend to reject praises and opportunities.
Is it emotional dysregulation?
No! Imposter syndrome is not emotional dysregulation in that the latter deals with experiencing your emotions out of control in the form of mood swings. Whereas for imposter syndrome, your emotions are in check and you only have a sense of doubt about your capabilities and competence.
Is imposter syndrome a psychological theory?
Imposter syndrome is not a theory. Instead, it’s a psychological pattern of self-doubt when it comes to your competence level.
Dunning Kruger vs imposter syndrome?
The opposite of feeling like an imposter is that you believe your competence level is high when in the real world you’re incompetent. This opposite of imposter syndrome is what we call Dunning Kruger.
So there’s this cognitive wiring that people with low ability overestimate what they can do rather than feeling like an imposter. Whereas for imposter syndrome, people with high skills at a task doubt their ability.
What if I have Imposter Syndrome?
Feeling like an imposter isn’t and shouldn’t feel like a plague, and remember you’re not the only one on this boat. You can either use this imposter feeling to your advantage or prevent it.
The good thing about having imposter syndrome is that it gives you this sense of intellectual humility that makes you aware of your limits when it comes to knowledge. Plus, it allows you to open your mind to processes that push you to take action and grow.
So, you don’t have to beat yourself up because you have this feeling. You could also prevent or overcome imposter syndrome.
How to Prevent Imposter Syndrome
Most times, three things cook up a storm of imposter syndrome:
- Constant criticism which makes you feel as though you can never be good enough.
- Extra or superlative praises which instill high expectations and pressure.
- Lack of a support system
So to prevent or deal with imposter syndrome, you need to
Own your fears, weaknesses, and strengths: Remind yourself of how amazing and enough you are. This way, you are every day manifesting to yourself all your good and who you are.
Separate your feelings from the facts: For instance, you know this is A, but you want to believe it’s B, now when it shows A, you feel like you don’t belong. Feeling like an imposter will creep in when you continue to attach emotions to the truth.
Accept that it is impossible to know everything.
Appreciate your achievements and refer to them when you need to.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Have a support system: Surrounding you with people who can lift you and appreciate your value.