Imposter Syndrome: A false and sometimes crippling belief that one’s successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill – Merriam-Webster
Have you ever felt that you aren’t good enough? Right now as a blogger, I do not feel like I’m good enough. At school, I feel like I’m in a space where I’m not smart enough to succeed and move on to bigger and greater things. This anxiety of not being good enough has been a constant fear in the back of my mind since I went to college and has only been exacerbated by thinking of the future.
Will I go to law school? Which law school? Am I good enough to get into a good law school? Why am I not succeeding with blog? Am I a bad writer? Is my style crappy? These are all questions that go through my head almost daily. Most days, people place imposter syndrome into the category of things that everyone goes through, but why? Most high-achieving people are said to have experienced imposter syndrome once or twice, which shows how prevalent this phenomenon is. In the world of social media, it has become easier than ever before to compare oneself to others, making it all too easy to fall into the traps of imposter syndrome.
Today, we have Instagram perfection and everyone only showing the perfect aspects of life. So when our lives aren’t as perfect as they seem on screen in comparison to everyone else, it makes people feel as if there is something wrong with them. My life is imperfect, in fact so far from it that it’s not even funny, but I have to come to terms with it. I’m a perfectionist to a certain degree. I like making sure that everything is in its place and completing tasks in a certain order. I can’t have an unanswered email in my inbox or it makes me anxious til I read it. Anxiety is a major part of imposter syndrome because the syndrome aggravates anxiety to the point of constant frustration.
For me, imposter syndrome has both made me feel like I want to work harder, but also question the worth of it all. Not in a giving up way, but questioning if it is worth the stress. I have spent so much of the last year stressing myself out over being perfect because being perfect is what I have been taught from the beginning. Be perfect in school, afterschool activities, and sports in order to get into great schools. Be perfect in every class in order to make sure your GPA doesn’t suffer. If your grades aren’t perfect, you won’t be able to do anything with your life. This continues on into college, but the stress and pressure is unimaginable. After my dad died, I realised that if I continue down this path, I would end up working myself to death in order to chase the impossible.
In all honesty, I haven’t beaten my bout with imposter syndrome. It still nags at me constantly, but instead of letting it trap me in a box and cause depression and anxiety, I’m changing my ways. I have learned to tell myself that I am not perfect, but that is a good thing. Learning how to deal with the effects of imposter syndrome will teach me how to be a better adult and deal with inner conflicts. I’ve seen a lot of stigmatism around the syndrome. Instead of making imposter syndrome something to be afraid of, look at it as growth. Growth towards your future and learning how to move forward without being perfect.