Imposter Syndrome is a term that is often used to describe personal feelings and experiences of inadequacy and failure. Individuals who are affected by Imposter Syndrome often come from families who have high expectations, and as a result, are unable to recognize their success and accomplishments. Instead, success might be minimized or attributed to luck rather than competency, leaving an individual with an underlying fear that others around them will soon find out that they are a fraud. Imposter Syndrome can affect anyone at any stage of their life, especially when transitioning into a new role such as a parenthood, a student, or beginning a new career. Individuals affected by Imposter Syndrome often suffer alone with unpleasant symptoms such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and self-worth.
As a second-year graduate student, I can relate to many of the unpleasant symptoms of imposter syndrome. The biggest challenge I have had to overcome was to acknowledge that not everyone around me knows more than I do, and that it is okay to not be an expert because I am still learning. By engaging in therapy and seeking support from my peers, I have learned that I am not the only one who experiences these feelings. This has helped me to combat negative thinking patterns and gain confidence in my professional life.
If you are experiencing feelings of fraudulence and inadequacy in your personal life, know that you are not alone. There are many ways to combat these negative thinking patterns to help you feel more confident in your everyday life:
Sarah VanRoboys, BA
Student Social Worker, Summer 2021
Dr. Ashley Spinney