Welcome, fam. This is my third blog post 🥳 🥳 🙌🏾 . So let’s discuss something crucial today. As creatives, entrepreneurs most of us feel or experience this at one point in our personal or professional lives, but fail to even realise it or do not know what it is called.
You know that feeling of not being proud of yourself and accomplishments just because you feel incompetent and therefore think of your achievements as substandard in comparison to what others in similar industry as you do? Yes, that feeling of ‘Am I really good enough?’ ‘Is my e-book really good enough? Irrespective of the many sales and great reviews it has garnered. ‘Is my online course giving value or did I prepare it to standard? You have obviously turned a blind eye to your raving testimonials. ‘Are my social media content worth engaging in?’ ‘Is my YouTube content low quality and irrelevant? Even with your over 3,000 subscribers and 34 videos.
That feeling of inadequacy even when people like and appreciate what you do, that feeling of seemingly being deceitful and not qualified despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful. That impression that others doing the same thing as you are more knowledgeable, more competent, are experts and better equipped (and you do not deserve to be on the same table as them) although you are already doing well and making progress at what you do. Yeah, that feeling… That’s imposter syndrome right there.
Imposter syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon remain convinced that they are frauds, and do not deserve all they have achieved. Individuals with impostorism incorrectly attribute their success to luck or interpret it as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than they perceive themselves to be. This is according to Wikipedia.
So, I read somewhere that the imposter syndrome has links to perfectionism, I couldn’t agree more. I for one is a perfectionist and often I tend to look down on some of my achievements or would I say accomplishments. I trivialise them and therefore think they do not require accolades. It just seems like I do not rate myself. It’s as though I can’t internalise my experiences of success. Or maybe, I am waiting to accomplish one giant task before I can say to myself “well done”.
The same accomplishment I had brushed aside awhile back as being minor is seen been celebrated by others on Instagram and the likes, with lots of admiration and congratulatory messages. Sometimes, mine even seems more substantial than what they had achieved. No shade. However, you see them basking in their achievement, being confident in themselves and telling anyone who cares to listen. This makes me wonder, maybe they are more competent than I am. Or maybe there was more value in their deeds or they are just geniuses or more qualified.
If you’re standing on this table, please hold hands let’s jump down today because I am about to break it. So, how do you even know you are suffering from imposter syndrome. The easiest way you can tell is self-doubt. “Ohh… I don’t think I can match their energy, they are more capable”. Within you, you know you can do it but you are just too scared to even try and worry about measuring up.
You feel your level no reach people way dey do am.
Why??? Do they have two heads?
Any who; if you’re familiar with the feelings mentioned below, it’s most likely you are been plagued by the syndrome:
- You berate your performance, achievements and deeds.
- You fear that you won’t live up to expectations.
- You attribute your success to external factors.
- You shy away from applying to job postings unless you meet ALL educational requirement.
- You feel like you do not know enough of something even if you’ve been in that role before and performed well.
- You feel the need to always seek out training or certifications because you think you need to improve your skills to succeed.
- You don’t do too well with titles because you feel you haven’t earned them despite that you have worked for it.
- You are been called an expert and you turn your neck, looking across your shoulder for the expert in the room😄 .
- You feel as though you haven’t truly earned your title despite several degrees and achievements, so you feel pressured to work harder and longer than others just to prove your worth.
- You feel ashamed or inadequate and lose confidence when you underperform or faced with a setback.
- You shy away from challenges because it’s so uncomfortable to try something you’re not great at.
- You set very challenging goals just to prove yourself and feel rather disappointed when you fall short.
- You are unable to realistically assess your skills and competence.
- You get social anxiety when asked to perform or deliver on your craft.
- You’re often described as a perfectionist and feel you must produce 100% perfect work, 100% of the time, if not you aren’t good enough.
- Your success is rarely satisfying because you believe you could’ve done even better.
- You actually dread success, in some ways because you don’t feel worthy of it.
- You sometimes avoid showing confidence because you don’t want it to seem like you are overcompensating, or you feel as though you do not have the intelligence and talent to back the confidence.
- You underrate your performance.
Imposter syndrome can affect anyone regardless of skill level, social status, degree of expertise or work background. It can also take various forms, depending on personality, background, and circumstances. It is most common among high achievers.
The problem with impostor syndrome is that even the experience of doing amazing at something does not change your viewpoint about being incompetent. Even though you might sail through a feat, the thought still nags in your head, “What justification do I have to be here?”
Let me make this known to you; You have every right to be where you are right now. You see that book you wrote, that online course you created, that business you started, that blog of yours, your YouTube channel; Yes, you are deserving of all the accolades. You did, and are doing a great job. You are an author, a course creator, an entrepreneur, a YouTuber. That is what you do, that is who you are, accept it, embrace it, breath it.
How do you perceive yourself? How much value do you put on yourself? Don’t sell yourself short. The world will call you what you call yourself. That value you want the world to bestow upon you: put that same value on yourself first by believing in yourself. It starts with you.