- Ananya Achaya
Imposter Syndrome is a collection of sensations of not belonging; the constant nagging feeling that one’s feats and victories are fake and fraudulent. To have this syndrome would mean to have the firm belief that you’re tricking those around you and that it is only a matter of time before you’re found out.
The root of this problem is an intense lack of self-esteem, usually because of having grown up in an environment where one feels pressured to do more than they can (families that emphasise greatly on achievements), or having certain complex personality traits (perfectionism). As mentioned above, one feels as though their achievements are fraudulent and attribute them to luck rather than their capabilities. Ironically, drawing attention to the person’s success is a major trigger.
Research suggests that around 25-30% of high achievers suffer from imposter syndrome. Most often, people with imposter syndrome don’t talk about their personal experiences with it because a major part of this is the feeling of being found out. While it isn’t an official psychiatric diagnosis on the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), people with IS may struggle with other mental health issues.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome isn’t a simple or smooth process since it involves changing one’s mindset; their outlook on themselves. Nevertheless, it isn’t impossible. Acknowledging their expertise and skill is one way to go about it, as a reminder that they have earned their place in their respective field.