All you need to know about IMPOSTER SYNDROME!

Ok, so out of all the topics available out there, why did I choose to write on Imposter Syndrome? This seemingly complex term is something which most of us face in our lives, though we are unaware of its existence.

I recently came across this term, while watching a TED talk. I was completely taken aback that this term relates so much to what I see some of my friends facing, as well as to what I often feel.

Do you feel that you don’t deserve your success or your achievement is just another luck? Do you feel like a fraud while thinking about your accomplishments?

If yes, then you are not alone. That frequent sense of insecurity, that nagging sensation that you don’t know what you’re doing while everyone else is achieving high and being genuine, is way more common than you might think. This feeling of inadequacy despite evident success is famously known as Imposter syndrome.

The problem with people facing imposter syndrome is that we don’t talk about our achievements and stay quiet because we feel like whatever we have done is nothing worth mentioning, and surely other people can achieve it too. We are afraid that if we talk about our success, people might set high expectations for us, and that if we fail later, everyone will find out that our success was just luck.

I have seen this pattern in my life. I initially look at others who have achieved something in awe and then feel bad that I don’t have that much capability. Later, if I manage to attain that level of success, my journey starts looking insignificant, and I think maybe I just got lucky, then I end up setting a new standard to be successful.

This phenomenon is very common among high achievers and women. In fact, recently, I attended one of Google’s well-known #IAmRemarkable sessions, which aims to empower women and other underrepresented communities, and gives them the opportunity to put forth their accomplishments and boosts their confidence. The attendees were initially reluctant to talk, but as the session proceeded, getting to know that others too face this problem made us more comfortable and boosted our confidence.

It made me realize that the first step to overcoming imposter feeling is to realize that you are not the only one to face it, and it impacts many people. Even the great scientist Albert Einstein faced this issue! Talking and listening to other people who feel the same way can give a great sense of comfort.

Moreover, it is vital to learn to set realistic goals and accept failures as a part of life, and treat them as learning experiences. Nobody is perfect, and there is no point in comparing yourself with others, as everybody is unique in their own way. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help, as it develops our confidence and increases our knowledge. Also, believe in yourself and your accomplishments, as you deserve it.

To conclude, the quote “It’s not bragging if it’s based on facts” from the #IAmRemarkable session perfectly suggests a solution for imposter syndrome. Be positive, talk about your success and failures to others and listen to their stories too. You’ll be amazed how good it feels!

Credits: Mahjabeen, CEGian

The College of Engineering, Guindy is a public engineering college in Chennai, India and is India's oldest technical institution, founded in 1794.

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