If you’ve ever risen in the ranks of leadership or been recognized time and time again for achievements, you may have experienced “imposter syndrome.” It’s when you “feel like a fraud” for lack of better words. You question how you got here, if you deserve it, and what does this now mean? You feel like you’re being put up on a pedestal, or that you have to continue to achieve more or be more. It could also be that when you experience personal failures, you feel you no longer deserve your successes. Sound familiar?
For some of you, yes. For others, maybe not. For me, this is personal.
I can speak from personal experience which is why I was able to describe “imposter syndrome” as above. It’s a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Not an actual disorder, the term was coined by clinical psychologists when they found that despite having adequate external evidence of accomplishments, people with imposter syndrome remained convinced that they don’t deserve the success they have.
This is actually quite common in the world of medicine as expectations and standards increase for the new norm of what a physician should be. In our society, there’s a huge pressure to achieve especially when you throw in gender and racial inequality into the mix. In fact, studies also show that women are more likely to experience imposter syndrome than men. It doesn’t surprise me; however, I also believe women are essentially superheroes with the many hats they wear.
At the end of the day, just remember this: you are enough. You deserve this. You are worthy. Just be you.
Check out my next post where I talk about tackling or even overcoming imposter syndrome.