Fighting Against Imposter Syndrome
By Ariana Perez
Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you work you’re accomplishing nothing? That you could be doing better and that you’re failing yourself along with others? That you’re a fraud despite everything you’ve achieved?
If you’ve ever felt that way, the good news is, that there’s a term for it, and solutions. The American Psychological Association describes this phenomenon as Imposter Syndrome. An intellectual form of self-doubt, Imposter Syndrome often occurs among high achievers, specifically those who internalize their success as resulting from luck rather than their own personal effort and ability. As a result, self-perception becomes skewed, hard work becomes undermined, and success becomes brushed off and disregarded as undeserving.
Combatting Imposter Syndrome can be a struggle, especially in regards to confronting mindsets. Often enough Imposter Syndrome coincides with perfectionism and the blurring of self-worth as dependent on achievement. Left unchecked, it can negatively affect mental health, causing stress to the body and mind. With that in mind, it helps to recognize your efforts and acknowledge your own expertise. Self-awareness is key, along with reminding yourself that nobody is perfect, and to appreciate the effort you’ve put into getting to where you are today.
However, two things I personally believe help with relieving Imposter Syndrome, are the redefining productivity, and the acknowledgment of self-perception.
Much of Imposter Syndrome is rooted in the belief that nothing you do is good, that you’re not working hard enough, or your work is not good enough. Essentially, the feeling you could be better and more productive in your field or area of knowledge. Redefining productivity allows you to give yourself more credit in areas you may ignore or not notice, allowing you to be more confident and less hard on yourself. In other words, the goal is to stop perceiving yourself as lazy. Avoid burning yourself out. Ideas of healthy productivity and healthy success should not come with consistent self-torture.
Moreover, self-perception is critical to one of the more damaging aspects of Imposter Syndrome, associating self-worth as a result of success. Your perception of your self-worth must not come solely from external achievements. The research you place into your passions and interests does not need the validation of higher academia in order to be seen as valid.
You are already worthy, recognition and awards or not.
Madison Sciba '24,