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The Imposter Syndrome : How Your Inner Fraudster Is Messing with Your Finesse

Do you ever feel like you're about to be exposed as a complete fraud, despite evidence of your competence? Welcome to the club of imposters. Imposter Syndrome is that sneaky little voice in your head that tells you that you're not as good as people think you are. It affects a surprising number of people across various fields, and its consequences can be profound.

Dr. Damanjit Kaur (MD Psychiatry) 

The Imposter Epidemic: Stats Don’t Lie


According to a study by the International Journal of Behavioral Science, an estimated 70% of people experience Imposter Syndrome at some point in their lives. That's a staggering majority! It doesn't discriminate either, affecting individuals from all walks of life, whether you're a seasoned professional or a fresh-faced newbie.


Imposter Syndrome in the Wild: Real-Life Encounters


Take Maya Angelou, the celebrated author and poet, for example. Despite her numerous accolades and literary masterpieces, she famously admitted, "I have written eleven books, but each time I think, 'Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I've run a game on everybody, and they're going to find me out.'" If someone as iconic as Maya Angelou can feel like a fraud, then the rest of us mere mortals shouldn't be too hard on ourselves!


The Science Behind the Self-Doubt


Research suggests that Imposter Syndrome stems from a complex interplay of factors, including perfectionism, early life experiences, and societal pressures. A study published in the Journal of Personality found that individuals with perfectionistic tendencies are more susceptible to feeling like imposters. Imposter syndrome can be a real creativity killer. It stifles innovation and holds back potential by convincing us that we're not worthy of success. From high achievers to budding talents, imposter syndrome can strike anyone, anywhere.

Combatting the Imposter Within: Tips and Tricks


So, what can you do to silence that pesky imposter voice? Here are a few strategies:


  1. Acknowledge Your Achievements: Keep a record of your accomplishments and refer back to them when self-doubt creeps in. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem.

  2. Talk About It: You're not alone in feeling this way. Opening up to friends, family, or colleagues can help you realize that others struggle with similar feelings and provide much-needed support.

  3. Embrace Failure: Failure is a part of the learning process. Instead of viewing setbacks as evidence of your incompetence, see them as opportunities for growth and development.

  4. Challenge Negative Thoughts: When that inner critic starts whispering doubts in your ear, challenge those thoughts. Ask yourself for evidence to support them and counter with evidence of your accomplishments.

  5. Fake it Till You Make It (But Not Too Much): Confidence is key, even if you have to fake it  at first.  Eventually, you'll start to believe in yourself and your abilities.



Conclusion: You're Not Alone in the Imposter Circus


Imposter Syndrome may be a common affliction, but it doesn't have to define you. By recognizing its presence, understanding its origins, and implementing coping mechanisms, you can reclaim your confidence and banish that inner fraudster for good. So, the next time you feel like you're not worthy of your achievements, remember: you're not an imposter; you're just a work in progress.


So, go forth and conquer, you magnificent imposters!


Remember, even the greatest minds have wrestled with feeling like they're not good enough. It's all part of the human experience. Embrace it, learn from it, and let your brilliance shine through!

Dr. Damanjit Kaur (MD Psychiatry)  

Ms. Anjali Gulati
Faith Hospital, Chandigarh
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