Today I have chosen to write about imposter syndrome.
Imposter Syndrome is something that I have always heard people bringing up, but never actually read about or looked into. Because it was something I never thought I had. For me, I stupidly assumed that Imposter syndrome was just where you felt like you were someone else (in my defence, a lot of it is down to the fact I’ve been advised to stop Googling things for the sake of my own sanity).
But imposter syndrome is so much more than that. And is not only more common than I thought, but also turns out to be something I have myself. But have been in denial about for quite some time.
What does Imposter Syndrome involve?
Imposter syndrome in a nutshell is basically believing that you are not as competent as other people might think you are, it is also linked to perfectionism and feeling like you don’t belong. Feelings of not belonging wherever you are, being a ‘fake’, only getting where you are due to luck. You get the idea. However, it is important to note that Imposter syndrome is not classified as a mental disorder.
According to the website verywellmind.com characteristics of this can include:
Inabilities to realistically assess your competence and skills
Berating your performance
Fears of not meeting expectations
Setting challenging goals for yourself and then feeling disappointed when you don’t meet them.
The above is just a few of the major signs of imposter syndrome. It wasn’t until I came across the book: Yes! You Are Good Enough by Trish Taylor, that I found I have imposter syndrome, and I have it pretty fucking bad.
Trish’s book is about ending imposter syndrome and overthinking etc. I originally got it because it was free on kindle unlimited and I’m at a point where I’m trying to read as many things as I can about overcoming the whole ‘overthinking’ function in my brain. Or at least toning it down, just a tad.
In the beginning of the book, Trish puts a list of all the different potential signs and feelings that you may experience when suffering from it. I thought maybe I might relate to a few. Nope, I literally matched every single thing on the list bar I think 2 things (and the list wasn’t less than 10 points)!
But it’s okay. Because acknowledging what your mind is facing is the first part of the battle. One of the first things I need to do is get to the root of why I feel like this and where it comes from. This, in itself is going to be an interesting journey to partake in because I have a lot of underlying issues locked away in the back of my head.
For me, it’s difficult because I don’t actually remember a time when I wasn’t feeling like I wasn’t good enough or like I was nothing compared to somebody else. It wasn’t anyone’s fault I don’t think, it’s just the way I grew up. At first it was comparisons with my sister, 2 years my junior she was always the pretty one and very popular. So much so, that when we were young and used to ‘play out’ (because that’s what kids in my time did before computers) all the friends that I made, ended up preferring to hang out with her. It was hard to come to terms with.
Growing up with that and then the not quite fitting in throughout school and college. Being called the ugly one, having been compared to rats and dogs more than anything else in the world. And then of course, there’s the intelligence levels – not my strong point either. Having ADHD can make me as creative and impulsive as hell but I’m not going to win any awards for my concentration and knowledge!
When I write all of that out, it is amazing to think that I never realised I could have imposter syndrome sooner.
So, I’ve acknowledged it. Now what?
This is the part where it’s going to get quite interesting I think. Because now that I’m coming to terms with having it. I have to get to the root of all the causes and underlying issues to help myself get better. I need to get to a point where I feel like in myself I am happy with where I have got to.
To start with I’m going to go through some affirmative mantras that will help me progress. If you can relate to anything I’ve written about today, then maybe you can use them too:
I do deserve good things.
I have made mistakes, I have done bad things, but that doesn’t mean I cannot forgive myself, learn from it and be better.
I do deserve love and I need to stop thinking that I don’t.
I can achieve the things I set my mind to.
I don’t need to compare myself to anyone else because I am unique as I am.
I can and will be happy 🙂