Impostor Syndrome

July 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm Leave a comment

I read an article in Woman’s Health magazine (June 2012) issue about Impostor Syndrome. Wow, I think I have this. When I was writing up my resume, or even before that, when I was doing my performance review, I kept on asking myself: “What were my accomplishments?”. I tend to come up blank when answering. It’s not that I didn’t have any accomplishments, or that I was doing things that were meaningless and had no real value to the organization. However, I saw most of what I was doing as “just part of my job”. Hence, my accomplishments faded into the background.

I think a lot of this Impostor Syndrome also tied in with my self-esteem. I am generalizing here, but women are taught from an early age not to boast. In fact, they’ve done studies, and both men and women find it annoying if a woman boasts a lot, but when men boast, it’s not found as annoying.

The biggest thing that I got from this article was that it really pin-pointed what I’ve been struggling with for a while. While I still need to learn how to best cope with this, the fact that I allow unrealistic and untrue negative thoughts in how I view my accomplishments is a self-awareness thing for me. In the article, one woman mentioned that when she used to run track races, and if she wasn’t at the front of the pack, she would constantly be comparing herself to other. She would see how others were doing, and started a cycle of self-doubt: “I can’t run fast enough, I’m not good enough as the person who is in front of me”, etc. How she overcame this was to put the pack of runners out of her line of vision and periphery. So instead of staring with the rest of the pack, she would start at the head of the pack.

This is what I’ve been doing. I’ve been comparing my inabilities with others, to the point whereby I obsessed over the fact that they had jobs and I didn’t. One woman who I am friends with on Facebook, I see her statuses and envy her as to where is at her life. Right after I was laid off, this same woman told me that she had spent a year in a very bad time in her work life. I don’t know what the details are, but I can imagine that she had difficulties looking for a job as well. Bottom line is, I need to stop comparing myself to anyone else. No one is like me, has my skills, ability and experience. I am unique, so trying to compare my own situation with someone else’s is like comparing apples and oranges.

So while I still may struggle with my own way of overcoming Impostor Syndrome, being aware of it is already more than half the battle won. Hopefully, in time, I will overcome it and really learn to acknowledge and appreciate my accomplishments.



Entry filed under: Life. Tags: .

Idolatry Leap of Faith

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