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Impostor Syndrome is feeling like you’re not worthy of whatever success you’ve had. You feel that you’ll be “found out” at any second.

Students don’t just feel this. Everyone encounters this at some points. But why? Why do we feel like this? Dr. Valerie Young says that, “The thing about ‘impostors’ is they have unsustainably high standards for everything they do. The thinking here is, If I don’t know everything, then I know nothing. If it’s not absolutely perfect, it’s woefully deficient. If I’m not operating at the top of my game 24/7, then I’m incompetent.”

Cyclone Life has some tips on how to break out of the cycle. 

  • http://www.heatherphysioc.com/seo-blog Heather Physioc

    I think this happens disproportionately with women, too. I think this exact phenomenon plays a significant role in the still significant gap between women and men in a lot of workplaces when it comes to promotions, compensation, etc.

    • grinblo

      Sheryl Sandberg made this argument in her recent autobiography. She gave the example of an experiment, where researchers asked men and women to take the same exam assess how they did when they were finished. The majority of women said they did poorly (while they actually did well), whereas the majority of men overestimated their result. It’s made me a lot more aware of the way I analyze, and especially communicate, my performance after the fact.

  • Cassidy

    Thanks for posting my blog! I appreciate it!:)

  • Jose Byron Gonzalez

    Really?? All this time I’ve been thinking it was just me!

  • Raven Platt Dreibelbis

    This is definitely me! I had no idea it was a “thing.” Feeling a little better already.

  • David at MyYearInFlux

    I had big problems with impostor syndrome until I discovered that living a bit more outside my comfort zone and embracing a little novelty in life was the way to feeling less of a fraud. It doesn’t seem like the obvious solution, but it worked for me! Inspired by this post, I wrote a piece about How I Overcame Impostor Syndrome over on my blog, here is a link http://myyearinflux.com/overcame-impostor-syndrome/

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