“Congrats, you’re hired.” – An email you received from your dream company upon completing your college degree. Out of many students in your department, you were successful in landing a job one month after graduation. A job that you applied for because you met all of the qualifications.
Now it’s your first day at work and all of a sudden you have a daunting feeling that you do not deserve to work at the company, you don’t believe you're qualified for the role despite your accomplishments or perhaps you believe that you do not deserve to be in the same spaces as your colleagues. Does this sound familiar? This experience is known as Imposter Syndrome. Imposter Syndrome can sneak up on you in any setting and it’s normal to feel this way and many people do, even some of your favorite people.
Ilana Drake, a sophomore at Vanderbilt University, told YR Media about her experience with Imposter Syndrome.
“I first encountered Imposter Syndrome during high school where I noticed many of my peers sizing each other up through their accomplishments. During my first few weeks of college, I saw how insecure many of my peers felt about their achievements when they compared themselves to other people,” said Drake, adding, “I remember how one conversation about hometowns turned into a discussion on SAT and ACT scores. I wrote about the competitiveness of college clubs which can oftentimes have many rounds, and I noticed Imposter Syndrome through the ways in which my peers interacted with each other and members of those clubs who were interviewing.”
She believes that in order to overcome imposter syndrome, we need to focus more on ourselves, our goals, and our values, rather than ask for external validation or participate in comparison. She has noticed that being less present on social media means that she participates in less comparison about her life versus another person's.
How to Manage your Imposter Syndrome
Whether you’re Gen Z, a Millennial or any other generation, you understand how uncomfortable it can feel being in environments that you have once dreamed to be in and suddenly you feel like you do not deserve to be.
Here are 5 tips to help manage your Imposter Syndrome
- Accept your accomplishments. You were selected for that job for a reason or into that college because you earned it. Start to accept the fact that you worked hard for your accomplishments and don’t feel the need to minimize yourself to allow others to feel bigger.
- Focus on the positive comments, emails, or reviews you receive.
- Take it up a notch by providing yourself with a visual of those compliments. You can hang the reminders on your mirror or desk at work. By doing this, you will allow your brain to reprogram and help you assist with those intrusive thoughts.
- Focus on yourself. It’s easier said than done, especially in a digital world generation. However, once you start comparing yourself to your peers or colleagues, you’ll start to question everything that you’ve worked so hard for. Focus on your path and your goals, it’ll make life much easier.
- Ditch the idea of being perfect. At times, we want to feel like we have our lives figured out or we may be hungry for success. This leads to perfectionism and the imposter syndrome kicks in. Instead, enjoy your journey, understand it’s a marathon and not a sprint and celebrate your accomplishments.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett