Imposter Syndrome is when a person is unable to acknowledge their accomplishments in their career. They never feel good enough and only focus on what they’ve done “wrong” and any and all mistakes they’ve made. They truly believe that they are on the verge of being discovered as a “fraud,” which would, therefore, cause them to lose their job that they think they never really deserved in the first place.
If you struggle with Imposter Syndrome, please remember that you are enough. You are not your mistakes and you deserve to be where you are.
Here are 10 things people don’t realize you’re doing because of Imposter Syndrome.
1. You never believe someone when they tell you that you are good enough.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your best friend and or your own goddamn mother, the people who know you better than anyone. When they say what you do is enough, that you are enough, you dismiss it. Because, to you, they don’t really know.
2. You freak the hell out whenever you make a mistake, no matter how small it may be.
You think that your mess ups are absolute, definitive proof that you were never meant to be hired and that you aren’t cut out for your job or career path. The idea that you’re merely an imperfect human being who is bound to screw up every now and then never even crosses your mind. Not once.
3. You tend to go wayyyyyy overboard with commitments at work.
You’re always saying “Yes” to literally everything because you constantly feel like you have to prove yourself and earn your keep, even if you’ve been at your job for, like, three years and have a reputation for being a reliable, hard worker. Since you’re afraid that this actually isn’t true, you constantly go overboard with commitments because you think this is the only way to keep your job.
4. You miss deadlines.
You become so laser-focused on making the finished product absolutely perfect that you miss deadlines, which you then freak out over and spiral into thinking that you really don’t deserve your job at all. It’s a vicious cycle.
5. You are unbelievably stressed out all. the. time.
This makes total sense since you’re constantly thinking you’re on the brink of losing your job and ruining your career. It’s understandable you’re stressed AF.
6. You struggle to say the word “No.”
This goes beyond the workplace. This can be in relationships, too. You never feel like you’re good enough for anything. You think you can never say “No” because it’ll just be another sign of your severe mediocrity.
7. You obsessively check your work.
To be clear, it’s normal to proofread and review your work a few times before you consider it completely done. However, it becomes problematic when you look at a finished product over and over and over and over again, sure that you must have missed a mistake or that something could be done better, etc.
8. And you constantly revise your work, too.
Because after your review a proposal 37 times or make sure your numbers are correct for the 75th time, you start to see completed, correct work that really could be better.
9. You think all of your accomplishments are total flukes.
Promotion? Raise? Award-winning project? Save the office from burning down? Ha. Coincidences. Right place, right time.
10. You overthink pretty much all of your decisions.
You second guess yourself because you don’t think you really know the answer, even though you totally, absolutely, 100 percent do.
Imposter Syndrome can be totally awful if you experience it. However, there are definitely ways to reframe your thinking and overcome it, enjoy work again, and rebuild faith in yourself.
After all, you’re there for a reason.