Increasing our immunity to imposter syndrome

If you're a fraud, I'm a fraud

Someone afflicted with imposter syndrome.
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Arriving into lecture, I register the sounds of scribbling pens, cheerful chattering and the effortless pitter-pattering of keyboards. Everyone around me seems to know what they’re doing and where they’re going. 

And then there’s me, feeling like an imposter amongst a sea of focused, driven and successful students. 

Imposter syndrome is when someone feels as if they don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved and are afraid others around them would agree. It’s a common insecurity and I believe I’ve always had some form of it, before I even knew what it was. 

The first step to overcoming such a frustrating feeling of never being good enough is understanding it.

From my experience, the mind manufactures far more questions than answers. While some are for the sake of curiosity, far too many of them stem from the useless roots of self-doubt and worry. Whenever I’m presented with some sort of success, there’s always a voice inside me that whispers ‘You’re just lucky.’ But as strange as it may seem, it’s not completely wrong.

Despite also being impacted by our actions and decisions, much of what happens to us depends on luck. The lives we lead aren’t only already influenced by our inherited genes and surroundings, but also significantly determined by timing and coincidence.

If you consider yourself to be an imposter for this reason, crediting all of your success to chance, then everyone else might as well be considered one too. 

It’s easy for us to view the world in black and white, describing people as different shades of happy or miserable, successful or hopeless and so on. However, what we might forget from time to time is that people are perpetually changing and we clearly can’t be confined to a single definition. 

Everybody grows from their achievements and even more so from their failures. The latter isn’t so simple to spot in a world with history written by the victorious and those with straight-A report cards stuck on the kitchen fridge. 

We shine a light on everything impressive, including LinkedIn profiles and Instagram posts, while any negativity coming from others tends be kept hidden in the shadows. This can make it easy to believe the people around us are better and more qualified since we’re only seeing their successes. 

There’s an unusual saying I’m quite fond of: I’m going to succeed because I’m crazy enough to think I can. 

It reminds me of the idea of faking it until you make it, which at first might sound like the complete opposite remedy to the imposter syndrome. But have you heard before that forcing yourself to smile can actually enhance your mood and make you happier?

 This idea ultimately emphasizes the power of an optimistic mindset, and how your beliefs and expectations can have a profound impact on constructing your castle of confidence.

Although it can sometimes be inevitable to place ourselves beside others who are similar to us, we must remember that in the long run, it’s practically impossible to make fair and accurate comparisons of ourselves to someone else.

Each one of us is built on our own unique experiences and irreplaceable memories. 

The greatest thing we can do is to balance our humility with confidence, learn from the people who inspire us and concentrate only on being better than the person we were yesterday. 

We’re not imposters; sometimes, the success we garner can only be credited to our own hard work, passion and perseverance.

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