The Imposter Syndrome In Women

By Modupe Akinyemi

Ever been in a situation where everyone but you acknowledges your competence, efforts, skills, capacity, performances, and even successes? You feel as though you are not as good as you are perceived to be. Despite all the productive results labelled to you, you believe it’s all based on luck. In short, you assume yourself to be an imposter- a fraud or deceiver.

Well, that feeling is not uncommon, it is called Impostor Syndrome. The Impostor Syndrome is a feeling or collection of feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy a person has despite evident successes. It involves attaching success to external factors and never based on your personal competence and skills thereby questioning accolades and awards given to you. So, no matter how much people appreciate and praise what you do, you find yourself constantly questioning it.

The cause of this Imposter syndrome is usually attributed to an upbringing of perfectionism. It is believed that children raised by parents who set very high standards are commonly found trying to measure up. Whether or not they meet up, they believe they could have done better. For them, delegation is an issue so they work themselves upon getting things done personally. However, for many women who experience this, it goes beyond a mere family calibration to societal and workspace conditioning that says they are not good enough.

Impostor Syndrome is commonly found in high-achieving women. We live in a society where women’s success are constantly being attached to someone else usually a man- father, husband, brother, uncle, fiancée, etc. Their strength, resilience, and ambition are considered not ‘healthy and good enough’ to produce on their own without the backing of someone else. Constantly being exposed to these societal mind frames makes accepting success difficult when it finally comes.

In a society where bias, patriarchy, and racism are prominent, you find imposter syndrome being a daily battle for the woman. While it can sometimes be a great motivation for performance, this driving force if not well managed can also grow intensely to a point where other non-productive emotions are birth such as anxiety, lack of confidence, self-doubt, self-hatred, and even shame. For example, you set for yourself a very tasking and somewhat unrealistic goal within a particular time frame and when you don’t achieve it, you beat yourself up excessively over it. Even when you do achieve it, you attribute it to someone or something else.

Do you think you have imposter syndrome? Here are a few points for you to remember that will help mitigate the feeling:

  • Reframe your mind and your words. Teach your mind to understand you are capable of succeeding.
  • Daily look into your mirror and read out your achievement and say to yourself: I did it!
  • Be kind to yourself. Uncertainty is not an uncommon feeling but excessively beating yourself up about it is unfair to you.
  • Every professional is pressured not to fail so you are not alone in that feeling. When you do fail, accept it and pick up.
  • Whenever you feel your confidence is not on the 100% bar, trust me you are from being alone, we all have those days.
  • Never feel ashamed to ask for help, asking for help does not make you less relevant or competent.
  • ●      Celebrate yourself! Celebrate your small wins! Celebrate your successes.

Images: Google

Source: Above Whispers

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