How to Know If You Suffer from Impostor Syndrome

Hello, my name is Olga and I’m a fraud. I started College with 16, but not because she was gifted, or something, was a combination of circumstances. I never failed a test, in fact I ended up with a very high average, 9.11 on 10. But it was because I have a smart person’s face and the teachers thought that I know more of what they really knew. I have worked in three different countries and all have done me pretty well, I have had some professional success. But I just got well fall to chiefs. It is a little surprising, because I have few social skills, sometimes I’m clumsy communication, have a sense of the bizarre humor and step by edge. Somehow I trick them all.

Now, for example, have asked me to write an article about the the impostor syndrome, as if he knew it. I have read some articles and the cognitive biases, These little ones failures of our mind This syndrome, which belongs much interest. But I am not an expert.

What is the impostor syndrome

According to the definition generally accepted, you have the imposter syndrome if you’re Unable to accept that your success is yours. You always find a “guilty” out: it has been luck, the questions were easy, boss undemanding, the public did not realize that on slide 28 had a typo.

In addition, is something like a vicious circle: as you know that vouchers nothing, you become a perfectionist and you strive more, that you can not discover. That makes you receive more compliments for your good work. Which leads to increased concern for being discovered.

Why use the feminine? Because, according to some studies, women are more affected by this syndrome. According to others, there are no differences by gender. But it seems that harder men recognize their vulnerabilities. So at the end There are more women “sham” recognized.

The impostor syndrome is very common. Studies carried out in the ‘ 80s found that 2 of 5 people of success have it. Moreover, 70% of the population has felt so at some point in life. Among famous “Shams” are Emma Watson, Sheryl Sandberg or even Albert Einstein, who said, towards the end of his life, that excessive consideration that people have for his work makes him feel uncomfortable.

Cannot be defined as a disorder that has 70% of the population, therefore the impostor syndrome is not it. It is not a personality trait, although there are people more likely to feel it. It is rather a pattern of behavior, a way to react to certain situations.

The impostor syndrome is fascinating, at the same time makes you unsafe y arrogant: “I’m useless, but I can trick them all”.

What to do if you feel an impostor

I am not going to ask if you ever felt like an impostor. Seeing the percentages, it is likely that.

But we need to do something about it?..

The impostor syndrome can have two possible consequences: the perfectionism or the slackness. The first thing makes you strive more and more and are increasingly more frustrated, by the effect of the vicious circle that we talked about. The second occurs when you convince you that people are not able to differentiate a good job from a bad one and stop work. Your work gets worse and you get what you wanted: the proof that you’re a useless.

Okay, and what do we do?

One of the usual recommendations is write a journal about your professional success. Recording everything in writing you can sort your thoughts and emotions, which helps you to be more objective with what happens to you. Reviewing the journal after a time, when the emotional charge of an event has gone and your success is no longer scare you, give account that you know and can much more than you think.

If you don’t have daily and need urgent help with your inner imposter, simply reviewed and updated your CV. It is not the same, but work to me.

Another good tip, easy to apply and with cumulative results, comes from an unusual source: an Argentine telenovela. In it an elderly lady, rich and classy, taught her maid, that then turned out to be illegitimate daughter of his son, that is, his granddaughter (is a soap opera, I’ve warned), how to accept compliments: “do not say that you’re not really pretty or that the dress is a piece of cloth. Simply say thank you”.

When receiving a compliment, rather than apologize start to say “Thanks”, at the beginning your mind still protesting and saying that it is not so. But little by little, in his effort to be consistent with what you say, your brain get used to believe that you deserve every compliment you receive.

So, the next time that someone congratulate you for your work, make an exercise of humility. It accepts the compliment. Beloved impostor, simply say “thank you”.

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January 1, 2018

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