A lovely friend of mine educated me about an intriguing phenomenon called the Imposter Syndrome. Having gone through it herself, she says it makes one ‘feel like a fraud’. It is a psychological pattern in which one doubts their skills, talents, and accomplishments, and has a persistent internal fear of being exposed as a fraud. And despite a clear external evidence of their competence, they still feel persistent feelings of inadequacy and wrongly attribute their success to luck. Even though this topic in particular might seem extreme, it brings about some ideas that may be relevant to all of us from time to time.
I have often felt like there is some perfect “script” for conversations, and that I cannot say the wrong thing. I have also, therefore, had trouble asking for help from people due to my own high standards. To move past these feelings, I had to learn to become comfortable confronting some of those deeply ingrained beliefs I held about myself. And this is the tricky bit, since we often do not even realize that we hold them.
What helped me is letting my guard down, and letting others see the real me. The good news is that being a perfectionist means that we care deeply about the quality of our work. But the key is to continue to strive for excellence when it matters most, and forgive ourselves when inevitable mistakes occur. We are often burdened by misguided rules such as, “I should always know the answer,” or “I should never ask for help”. But all of us have just as much right as the next person to be wrong, make mistakes, or ask for assistance, and at the end of the day there is really no such thing as perfect.
Another important lesson is to stop comparing. Every time I compare myself to others in a social situation, I end up finding some or the other ‘flaw’ or ‘fault’ within me that fuels the feeling of not being good enough to belong. We must focus on ourselves, invest time in the things we love doing, and we will realize that there is a boundless amount of things that make us who we are.
The most relevant example in my life currently would certainly be school. And I’ve come to terms with the fact that we are so much more than our grades. I have often asked myself, “when is good enough ever good enough? While striving for perfection is certainly noble, it can usually be unrealistic. What’s more important is turning these feelings into ones of gratitude – looking at what we have accomplished in our lives and being grateful for every success. And I am lucky enough to have a support system around me who sees it that way.
– SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻♀️