Juliet Meeks, an artist and designer based out of New Orleans, recently posted on Instagram a touching look into the emotions she sometimes feels as an artist and business owner. She described feeling the self-doubt so common with professionals who deal with imposter syndrome, but I did not realize how prevalent the struggle was until I began doing some research.
We are not alone in these feelings. Whether it be interns, lower management, upper management, C-suite executives or anything and everything in between, imposter syndrome touches everyone; but especially those who are not traditionally in power, like women and BIPOC. BBC shared that according to psychotherapist and executive coach Brian Daniel Norton, “when you experience systemic oppression or are directly or indirectly told your whole life that you are less-than or undeserving of success and you begin to achieve things in a way that goes against a long-standing narrative in the mind, imposter syndrome will occur.”
“The imposter syndrome is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud,” writes Megan Dalla-Camina, strategist and author for Psychology Today. “Not an actual disorder, the term was coined by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978, when they found that despite having adequate external evidence of accomplishments, people with imposter syndrome remained convinced that they don’t deserve the success they have.”
But it’s not just something that is worrisome on a personal level.
“Not only can imposter syndrome be a negative force on someone's attitude and mind, it can also impact their work,” writes TechRepublic Associate Staff Writer Macy Bayern. “Feelings of inadequacy often end up making people believe in their insecurities, forcing their fears into realities.”
To combat the effects of imposter syndrome, we must change the fundamental way we approach these feelings. Valerie Young, an internationally-recognized expert on imposter syndrome and author of the award-winning book “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It,” shares 10 steps to combating imposter syndrome:
As I continue to grow and combat the effects of imposter syndrome in my own life, Meeks’ parting words will continue to resonate with me: “I can’t move on to the next stage of coming into my own if I’m clinging to the insecurities holding me back.”
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